Oct. 25, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University's Mission Harriers will compete in the West Coast Conference Cross Country Championship at the Crystal Springs Course, Saturday morning in Belmont, Calif.
Although the University of Portland has won the men's championship 22 consecutive years, the longest streak in any sport in WCC history, look for Santa Clara and San Diego to make a run for the coveted individual title. The Bronco's Thomas Chapman and the Torero's Lopez are the only non-Portland runners to record top ten times this year. The Pilot's Joe Driscoll holds the fastest time this season with an 8k time of 24:27.7 set at the Roy Griak Invitational.
The Broncos are very familiar with the Crystal Springs course as it is the home course for the Bronco Invitational which was run on October 6. Chapman finished second at the Bronco Invite in a time of 25:50, while Benjamin Gauen and Ricky Brackett followed close behind, finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively.
The WCC October Athlete of the Month for cross country, Devlin Croal, should also factor into the mix as he finished seventh at the Bronco Invitational in a time of 27:34. He also had a good race at the Mills College Cross Country Invitational, winning the race in a time of 29:32
The women's race has also been a Portland dominated event, with the Pilots winning 12 of the last 16 championships, including the past five. Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and former member US International are the only other teams to claim the women's title. Gonzaga placed four of the top seven runners to win the championship in 1995, the last time Portland did not win the race. Saint Mary's last won the event in 1990, narrowly defeating the Pilots 55-59.
In 2001, get ready for an infusion of new talent to hit the course, with Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's and Santa Clara boasting top-ten WCC runners at this year's race.
The Bronco women ran their best race of the year at the Crystal Springs Course during the Bronco Invitational. Jenny Smokey was the top Bronco finisher in third place in a time of 18:57, followed closely by Robin Bell and Milena Basile who finished fifth and seventh, respectively.
Following the WCC Championship, the Broncos will head to Tucson, Ariz. on November 10 to participate in the NCAA West Region Championship. The NCAA Championships will be held on Monday, November 19 in Greenville, S.C.