Bronco Express - Women
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara improved its performance from its first race of the season by putting five runners under the twenty minute barrier. The Broncos finished in ninth, 35 points ahead of tenth and 35 points behind fourth place. The Mission Harrier's depth was evident as their number 5 runner was the fourth fastest and their number 7 runner was the third fastest of the 22 teams, despite their team's ninth place finish. Jenny Smokey narrowly missed going under 19 minutes in leading the team.
The Broncos got out fast with Smokey taking the pace out for the team. Andrea Gastelum was trailing with Milena Basile and Robin Bell keeping watch. Katie Hansen and Erin Skourtes was gapped from the Washington duo and held a large gap on the remainder of the team. Katie Malinak led out Kristen Love, Chrissie Moreno, Holly Kearl, Kasey Shemwell, Paige Coulam, Julianna Visbal, and Shannon Gleeson.
Smokey continued to increase the gap with Gastelum who was reeled in by Bell and Basile by mile two. Smokey help her position in the field and felt the fast pace as she unable to muster up the speed to break 19 minutes. Gastelum could not hang with Bell and Basile and faded back in the last half mile. Bell pushed up the field and kept her gap with Smokey constant in the last mile. Basile fell off Bell's surge in the last mile, but held strongly. Hansen and Skourtes were running strong with Skourts keeping close to the hard charging Hansen. Hansen finished well, almost making up a monster gap on Gastelum in the last mile. Skourtes narrowly missed breaking 20 minutes in her first meet of the year. Taking control of her race in the last mile was hard charging Malinak who blasted the last mile. Malinak went by countless opposition and surprisingly came within ten seconds of Erin after trailing by an insurmountable margin halfway in the race.
Love held on well in the race after completing her first week of training with the team. Moreno gapped Kearl in the last mile, but Kearl stayed within reach to the finish. Coulam came from behind to overtake Shemwell on the final straightway. Visbal improved a remarkable 94 seconds from her first collegiate race and Gleeson rounded out the team with a 30 second improvement from her Sacramento time two weeks earlier.