Bronco Women's Enjoy Another Outstanding Season

May 23, 2003

By Tom Service

During the 2002 season the Santa Clara Women's Cross Country team continued the positive turn around the program started in 2001. Finishing second in the West Coast Conference and improving its regional finish by five places confirmed the program's step towards the its continued rise to the top.

The team provided several highlights during the 2002 campaign. The Broncos traveled to the Northwest and competed in the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Ore. The meet is billed as the largest Cross Country meet in the Northwest. The Broncos found the course and conditions to their liking as the top SCU five runners broke the 19:00 5k barrier for the first time in school history.

Led by Kim Bates' 17:28, Milena Basile's 18:26, Robin Bell's 18:27, Courtney Daniels' 18:49, and Katie Hansen's 18:18, the Broncos defeated both Portland and Portland State in their own backyard.

Two weeks later the Broncos finished a close second to Western Athletic Conference powerhouse University of Nevada at the Bronco Invitational. Again the team ran very well in defeating Fresno State, Cal State Fullerton and cross town rival San Jose State. The victory over San Jose State gave the Broncos a win in the inaugural year of the SCU / SJSU Rivalry Series. Bates was the individual champion torching the Crystal Springs course in an excellent time of 17:44. Although garnering runner-up honors at the WCC Championships in early November, the team was mildly disappointed after having defeated the Pilots earlier in the season. The Broncos bounced back well at the NCAA Division 1 West Regional Finals finishing a best ever 15th.

The 2003 Cross Country team will return three of its top five runners from last season and welcomes seven highly-recruited freshman in the fall.

During the spring competition Robin Bell led the 5000m charges at 17:54 followed closely by Milena Basile's 17:56 and Katie Hansen's 18:11. Hansen was the 1500m leader in 4:51 followed by Bell 4:52 and Basile 4:54. The team had a great spring opening at the Benny Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton and closing at the Sacramento State Spring Jamboree, the site of the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"Neither rain nor sleet, nor darkness......." became the team's motto as we experienced several interesting sets of conditions. We survived in great spirit and are anxiously awaiting the 2003 season.

Santa Clara University
2002 Cross Country Awards

Most Valuable: Kim Bates
Most Improved: Katie Hansen
Team Captain's Award: Milena Basile

WCC First Team: Kim Bates
WCC Honorable Mention: Robin Bell, Courtney Daniels
WCC October Athlete of the Month: Kim Bates
WCC All Academic: Milena Basile, Robin Bell

SCU Course Records
Central Park Huntington Beach(5000m) - Kim Bates (18:33.5)
Woodard Park (5000m) - Kim Bates (18:47)
Stanford Golf Course (6000m) - Robin Bell (22:57)
Bush's Nature Park (5000m) - Kim Bates (17:28.9)
Crystal Springs (5000m) - Kim Bates (17:44)

Top Ten Finishes
UC Irvine Invite - Kim Bates (2)
Fresno State Invite - Kim Bates (7)
Bronco Invite - Kim Bates (1)
West Coast Conference - Kim Bates (2)

WCC Team Finish: 2nd (2nd highest WCC finish in school history)
West Region Finish: 15th of 35 schools