Cross Country/Track & Field

Cross Country Picked Second and Third in Coaches' Poll

Aug. 28, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's cross country program was picked to finish second while the women's program was picked to finish third in the annual preseason West Coast Conference coaches' poll. The men's program is slated to finish behind the University of Portland who has captured the WCC title in each of the last 22 years, the longest streak of its kind in any conference sport. All-WCC performers Michael Helms and Thomas Chapman return for the 2001 Broncos after finishing last year's conference championship in fifth and 12th place, respectively.

Men's cross country head coach John Maloney enters his ninth season as Santa Clara's head men's cross country coach in 2001, having assumed his position in the fall of 1993 after serving as an assistant coach for six seasons. Maloney earned WCC Coach of the Year honors in 2001 for his team's second place finish at the conference championship.

The women's program is also slated behind the University of Portland, who captured its fifth straight conference title in 2000 and 12th in the last 14 years, and Gonzaga University who finished as the 2000 runner-up in the WCC. The 2000 Santa Clara women's team finished in fourth place, with their highest individual finishers, Annie Gastelum and Erin Skourtes, coming in 19th and 20th, respectively.

The women's program begins the 2001 season under the direction of a new leader, Tom Service. He begins his first season as Santa Clara's head women's cross country coach after spending the past 13 years as the varsity men's and women's cross country coach at Leland High School in San Jose. The squads' combined record includes 14 Blossom Valley Athletic League Championships and five Central Coast Section Championships. He's also had seven second-place showings.

Men - 1. Portland (7) 49 2. Santa Clara 42 3. San Diego 33 4. Gonzaga 29 5. Saint Mary's (1) 26 6. Pepperdine 22 7. Loyola Marymount 12 8. San Francisco 10

Women - 1. Portland (7) 49 2. Gonzaga 42 3. Santa Clara 31 4. Pepperdine 28 5. Saint Mary's (1) 26 6. San Diego 25 7. San Francisco 13 8. Loyola Marymount 10