Mission Harriers Compete at Chico Invitational

April 29, 2003

By John Maloney & Tom Service

The Mission Harriers returned from last weekend's Chico Invitational with very competitive finishes. The men all raced in the 5,000 meters and the women's races varied from 800 to 3,000 meters. Ricky Brackett finished third in the 5,000 and Robin Bell finished fourth in the 1500 to lead the Broncos.

On the women's side, Robin Bell and Katie Hansen were the first on the track for the Broncos in the fast heat of the 1,500-meters. Robin and Katie stuck to the end of the lead pack before they pulled away halfway through the race. Robin pulled slightly ahead of Katie with 500 meters to go and remained that way to the finish. Katie held off a late charge of UC Davis pursuers to close on Robin in the last 150 meters.

Milena Basile competed in the second heat and dueled with Annie Branco of Sonoma State as they traded leads throughout the race. Milena fell off the pace with 300-meters to go and could not come back to the top spot. All three Broncos set PR's in breaking five minutes. The same trio bounced back for the 800 meters one hour later. Robin and Katie ran in the second heat as Katie ran very strongly in the last 400 meters while Robin hung on gallantly in the pack. Milena ran in the third heat and dueled another Sonoma State runner, Chandra Farnham. But, this time Milena pulled away with 300 meters to go and won her heat. In the 3000 meters, Cara Payne led the Broncos as she ran possessed in rolling the last 1,000 meters past four runners before giving back two in the last 100 meters in a sprint. Tara Rooney hung with Cara for just over half the race before falling back. Erin Davis' debut as a Mission Harrier went exactly to form as she led out Kiley Strong who faded over the last 1000 meters. The race marked Erin's first since early October after rehabing a hip injury. Julianne Visbal celebrated her 21st birthday with a PR in her first race since early April.

For the men's squad, Ricky Brackett led the Broncos in the 5,000 meters which had only Chris Doerhoff hit a PR. John Hinman led the race early, aiding in the search of a PR for Ricky. But, after 2,000 meters, Ricky was struggling to keep pace and John ended his pacesetting duties. Trailing Ricky, Chris Doerhoff, Pat Green, and John Paul Thyken followed the long line in keeping pace with the leaders.

Kevin Edwards and Dominic Guidera rounded out the Bronco runners. Dominic was paced by Steve Navarro of Colorado College before falling off to hit his season best. Kevin faded badly in the second mile before regrouping in the last third of the race. Kevin passed three runners in the last mile in a strong finish. JP fell badly off pace and struggled home. Pat hung gallantly with Chris before tiring in the last kilometer. Chris battled for fifth position as he finished at the end of the trailing pack. Ricky battled the whole race as he came close to being dropped from the lead pack while responding to attacks with his own surges. Charlie Serrano of Chico State outlasted Ricky over the last 500 meters to win going away. Michael Wall, running unattached, hit a PR in the 1500m with his best competitive race of the season taking fourth in his heat.

The Mission Harriers next travel to Sacramento State on Saturday. It will mark the end of their spring season on they will focus on middle distance events.

Chico State Invitational
Men's 5,000-meters
3. Ricky Brackett, 15:25.52
8. Chris Doerhoff, 15:38.29
10. Pat Green, 15:46.89
14. John Paul Thyken, 16:11.13
17. Kevin Edwards, 16:23.92
24. Dominic Guidera, 17:41.94

Women's 800-meters
10. Katie Hansen, 2:25.18
13. Milena Basile, 2:27.33
14. Robin Bell, 2:29.29

Women's 1,500-meters
4. Robin Bell, 4:53.09
5. Katie Hansen, 4:54.92
9. Milena Basile, 4:58.68

Women's 3,000-meters
10. Cara Payne, 11:06.89
13. Tara Rooney, 11:17.46
15. Erin Davis, 11:45.48
16. Kiley Strong, 12:00.76
17. Julianne Visbal, 12:44.48