July 3, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's cross country team has been knocking on the door for the West Coast Conference title for the last couple of seasons. With the return of redshirt Michael Helms and first-team all-WCC honorees Thomas Chapman and Benjamin Gauen, the Broncos should be in a position to improve on its back-to-back second-place league finishes.
Helms, who finished fifth at the WCC championships as a junior in 2000, did not compete for the Broncos last season while sitting as a redshirt. His return, along with the emergence of Chapman and Gauen, who finished fourth and eighth in the league championships last season, should give the Broncos their best chance at a league title in the program's history. Santa Clara has finished second in the WCC championships on nine occasions, including the last two championship events.
Santa Clara opens the season September 7 in the first of six straight weeks of competition at the UC Irvine/Asics Invitational in Huntington Beach, Calif. Two meets at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and a competition at UC Davis, as well as league and NCAA previews at the Bronco Invitational and Stanford Invitational should prepare the Broncos for championship competition.
"Secondly, we will face five of the seven WCC opponents at the Bronco Invitational. This meet will give us a good indication of our finish before the WCC Championship. We are striving to improve our individual performances at the WCC meet and set a goal of 5 guys in the 25's at Crystal Springs. We expect that accomplishing our WCC goal will propel us to a finish in the top half of the 30 schools in the West Region."