April 25, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's cross country program announced the signing of three incoming freshmen, who help make up one of the top recruiting classes in school history, to national letters of intent, Head Coach Tom Service announced today.
Julie Gabelein from Langley, Wash., Sarah Krtil from Sacramento, Calif. and Sarah Scott from Portland, Ore. will join the Bronco distance program in August when the team reports for fall conditioning. The trio join incoming freshman Shannon Bell from Spokane, Wash., who signed with Santa Clara during the NCAA's early signing period last November.
"The freshman class entering this fall is undoubtedly the most outstanding group in the history of Santa Clara women's cross country," said Service, who has led the Broncos to a West Coast Conference title and a runner-up finish in his two seasons at Santa Clara. "Several of the new freshman should have an immediate impact on our program. A couple of the runners should most definitely be competing for the top five positions on the team. Most of the recruits come from excellent high school programs and already know the value of hard work and dedication. The new signees coupled with the early signing of Shannon Bell, add outstanding quality to an already solid group of returning veterans."
Krtil helped St. Francis High School to the Division III state title as a senior and ran a career-best time of 18:32 for 5,000-meters at the Stanford Invitational. She finished second in Division III at the Sac-Joaquin Sections with a three-mile time of 18:24. Krtil was a first-team all-city selection and competed in the national Junior Olympics twice, helping the Buffalo Chips Running Club to a second-place finish in 2002.
"The leader of her state championship team, Sarah is an experienced cross country and track runner," said Service. "Her outstanding Stanford and Mt. SAC race times in cross country place her among the top graduating seniors in the state. Her competitive finishes in her league and section finals demonstrate the attitude that we are building at Santa Clara. Interestingly, Sarah is looking forward to continuing her track career in the steeplechase."
Scott helped lead Jesuit High School to the state cross country championship her freshman and senior seasons and a runner-up finish as a sophomore. She was a second-team all-state selection and recorded a personal-best 5,000-meter cross country time of 19:01. She was voted her team's Most Inspirational Runner three times and was a first-team all-Metro League honoree.
"Sarah is a product of one of the perennially strong programs in Oregon," said Service. "She placed sixth in the 4A Oregon state finals and had an excellent Border Cross Race. Sarah is an outgoing positive person who is sure to make an impact early in her Bronco career."
Gabelein competed in four-straight Washington class 2A state championships for South Whidbey High School and helped her team to consecutive runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2001. She was a four-time all North Cascade Conference selection and finished 15th at the state championship meet as a senior. Gabelein registered a 5,000-meter best time of 19:56 in cross country and 12:12 in the 3,200 meters during the track season.
"Like Sarah Krtil, Julie is also from one of the top programs in Washington State," said Service. "Julie and her teammates were regular fixtures at the state finals. She is an excellent athlete as well as outstanding distance runner. She often runs the 300-meter hurdles when her team needs points in a dual meet. We look forward to having Julie's "team " attitude here at Santa Clara."