Women's Cross Country Wins WCC Championship, Men Finish Second

Oct. 27, 2001

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BELMONT, Calif. - Saturday morning was a historic morning for the West Coast Conference and Santa Clara University as the Broncos' women's team became only the fifth institution in the WCC to win a women's conference title, while the men finished second in the conference for a record 11th time.

The Bronco women defeated the University of Portland by 17 points at the Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, Calif., snapping the Pilots' streak of titles that had reached five consecutive and 12 of the last 14.

Freshman Robin Bell was the top finisher for the Broncos, finishing third in the conference in a time of 19:03. The third place finish assures Bell of an All-WCC selection and should give her a good shot at Freshman of the Year honors. Jenny Smokey was the next highest finisher for the Broncos as she crossed the finish line in a time of 19:26, battling the entire race through many nagging injuries that had plagued her during the week.

The Broncos' Andrea Gastelum, Milena Basile and Katie Hansen finished 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively, securing the historic win for the Broncos. Going into Saturday's race no Bronco women's team had finished higher than third.

"Today is a big day for us," said first-year women's head coach Tom Service. "We went into the week training hard and preparing to make a solid run at second place, but we knew in the back of our minds that we had a shot at the top spot and sure enough we ran well enough to win it."

Sevice earned WCC Coach of the Year honors for his team's efforts on Saturday.

On the men's side, Santa Clara ran its typical strong race at the Crystal Springs course. Thomas Chapman was the top finisher for the Broncos, crossing the finish line in a time of 25:53, good enough for a fourth place finish. Benjamin Gauen finished eighth in a time of 26:16, followed closely by Ricky Brackett who finsihed 11th in a time of 26:55.

Stephen Moore crossed the finish line in a time of 27:07, good enough for 13th place, while Kevin Edwards and Devlin Croal finished 16th and 17th, respectively, in times of 27:21 and 27:40.

"We fell behind real early in the race, but that was somewhat expected as Portland went out on a very fast pace," said men's head coach John Maloney. "San Diego tried to keep up with Portland while we continued to just run our race. We eventually caught up with USD and went right past them in the last half of the race. I am very proud of how the guys stuck to their race and ran it so well."

Maloney also earned WCC Coach of the Year honors for his team's efforts on Saturday. The 2001 honor was the second consecutive year that Maloney has won Coach of the Year honors.

The second place finish with 52 points equals Santa Clara's output from a year ago. The University of Portland has now won a WCC record 23 consecutive WCC Championships with the Broncos now having a WCC record 11 second place finishes, including 10 during the Pilots 23-year winning streak.

Both of Santa Clara's cross country teams will now head to Tucson, Ariz. to participate in the NCAA West Region Championship hosted by the University of Arizona on Saturday, November 10. The NCAA Championships will be held November 19 in Greenville, S.C.

2001 WCC Cross Country Championships


Women's Team Results 1. Santa Clara 3 7 11 12 13 (45) (46) = 46 2. Portland 6 8 10 19 20 (22) (25) = 63 3. Pepperdine 14 16 17 21 23 (27) (28) = 91 4. San Diego 4 5 30 31 38 (40) (43) = 109 5. Saint Mary's 2 18 26 35 36 (42) (50) = 117 6. San Francisco 9 15 32 38 41 (54) = 135 7. Loyola Marymount 1 29 34 48 49 (52) (53) = 161 8. Gonzaga 24 33 37 44 47 (51) (55) = 185

Men's Team Results 1. Portland 1 3 5 6 7 (10) (25) = 22 2. Santa Clara 4 8 11 13 16 (17) (20) = 52 3. San Diego 2 12 15 21 23 (24) (36) = 73 4. Pepperdine 9 14 18 19 30 (33) (34) = 90 5. Gonzaga 26 28 32 38 40 (41) (44) = 164 6. Loyola Marymount 22 31 39 43 45 (51) (54) = 180 7. San Francisco 29 35 37 42 49 (52) (55) = 192 8. Saint Mary's 27 46 47 48 50 (53) = 218