Oct. 5, 2002
SALEM, Ore. - The Santa Clara University women's cross country team planned to use the highly-regarded Willamette Invitational as a measuring stick as to how it stacks up against some of the Western region's top teams.
The Broncos finished fifth among nine Division I teams in the meet and their 138 points was just five behind fourth-place Hawai'i. Idaho won the team title with five runners in the top 16 in the meet, while Auburn finished second and Oregon was third.
Kim Bates was the Broncos' top finisher, recording an 11th-place overall finish in a 5,000-meter time of 17:28.88, which was over 1:00 faster than her previous best this season. Milena Basile and Robin Bell cross the finish line together in 37th and 38th-place with times of 18:27.15 and 18:28.19, respectively. Courtney Daniels was SCU's fourth finisher with a 55th-place time of 18:49.80 and Katie Hansen was fifth with a time of 18:54.13.
With five runners posting sub-19:00 times, a fifth-place overall team finish and a victory over West Coast Conference rival Portland, Bronco head coach Tom Service was more than pleased with his team's performance.
"I'm thrilled with the way we competed today," said Service, the second-year coach of the Broncos and last year's WCC Coach of the Year. "We went up to Willamette expecting to see how we would compete against some pretty good competition. It was our first time to race head-to-head against Portland and see where we stand at this point in the season.
"Kim (Bates) finished :14 seconds ahead of the WCC athlete of the month Nicole Ricci from Portland and all five of our scorers ran under 19:00, which I don't think has ever been accomplished at Santa Clara. So, I considered today's performance a success and I know it gives our squad great confidence heading into the second-half of the season."
The Broncos are off next weekend and will return to action on Oct. 19 at the Bronco Invitational.