September 6, 2001

Cross Country Begins Season This Saturday

Sept. 6, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After only a week of practice the Santa Clara University men's and women's cross country teams will open their respective seasons on Saturday at the Sacramento Invitational. The meet will take place on Sacramento State's home course and will also include Cal State-Hayward, San Francisco, and Saint Mary's.

"I am excited about this weekend's race in Sacramento as it will be a good indicator of where we stand in relation to some WCC and west region opponents," said men's head coach John Maloney. "We are confident that we can run with them and need a strong performance to affirm our belief."

The men were picked to finish second in the recently released West Coast Conference preseason poll. The poll left Maloney very optimistic about the season because of the talented group that is returning for the Broncos, including All-WCC honorable mention performer Thomas Chapman. Maloney will also be keeping an eye on sophomores Devlin Croal and Kevin Edwards this weekend to see if the pair can make an impact after suffering injuries last fall.

The women were picked to finish third in the WCC in the preseason coaches poll and will be racing with an improved squad from the 2000 season in which they finished fourth in the conference. The women's squad is focused on posting times that would confirm their belief that they have the ability to run with the top teams in WCC.

Sophomore Milena Basile and freshman Robin Bell should have big impacts on the team according to women's coach Tom Service. "Milena has made a statement in leading the team at Wednesday's time trial and Robin was the only freshman in the top five at the same time trial," said Service.

In addition to the two young impact runners Service also has three returners that made an impact last season. Jenny Smokey earned All-WCC honors for her 10th place finish in last year's WCC Championships. Additionally Anne Gastelum and Kristen Love return after solid seasons one year ago that included top-25 finishes in the conference championships.

Saturday's race is the first of three meets in the month of September. The Broncos are scheduled to compete at the Aggie Invitational hosted by UC Davis on the 22nd, and in the Big Cross Invitational on the 29th in Pascoe, Wash.