April 18, 2003
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Santa Clara University sophomore Robin Bell paced five Bronco runners and finished 19th overall in the 79-competitor field Friday despite dark conditions in the annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational Track & Field Meet held at Pomona College's Strehle Track.
Over 2000 athletes competed during the day and early evening, including 34 heats of the 200-meters. The Broncos race was scheduled for 6:20 p.m. and the first heat went off at 7:55 p.m. on a cloudy April night. The race began in darkness and Strehle Track does not have stadium lights.
"The Broncos were game and competed well under the circumstances," said Santa Clara Head Coach Tom Service. "The scene was actually quite bizarre for the runners and the coaches. The second heat was the same situation as the as the first as the runners attempted to navigate their way around the darkened oval. I am sure there are Southern Utah and UC Irvine runners wondering why I was shouting out their splits."
Bell, a native of Spokane, Wash., crossed the finish line in a time of 17:58.97, her third-fastest time of the season. She set a personal-best 5,000-meter time of 17:54.15 at the Johnny Mathis Invitational on April 5 at San Francisco State. Bell was the West Coast Conference Women's Cross Country Freshman of the year in 2001 and was an honorable mention all-league selection last fall.
Junior Milena Basile (Bellevue, Wash.) finished 22nd overall with a time of 18:04.36, while sophomore Katie Hansen (Lake Forest, Calif.) clocked a time of 18:37.72 to finish in 33rd-place. Sophomore Tara Rooney (Sammamish, Wash.) finished in a time of 19:48.54 and junior Cara Payne (Seattle, Wash.) crossed the line with a 20:05.27 clocking.
The Bronco women return to action on Saturday, April 25 at the Chico Invitational, hosted by Chico State.