Nov. 2, 2002
BELMONT, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's cross country teams each finished in second place at the annual West Coast Conference Championships today at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont.
The Bronco men placed all five runners among the top 14 in the race and finished four individiuals in the top-10 for a total of 48 points in the meet. Portland won the overall title with 18 points, its lowest total at the championship since 1999. The Pilots have won every WCC team title since 1979 and the 30-point margin of victory equalled the sixth-narrowest ever during that span.
Santa Clara graduate student Kim Bates finished in second-place overall to pace the women's squad to a second-place finish with 60 points. The Los Alamitos, Calif. native was the only Bronco to finish in the top-10 as SCU held off third-place San Diego by four points. Portland won the women's title by a 21-point margin to defeat the defending champion Broncos 39-60.
Senior Thomas Chapman was the Broncos' top male finisher, leading a pack of four SCU runners who finished in seventh-through-tenth places in the race. Michael Helms, Benjamin Gauen and John Hinman all finished within :20 seconds of Chapman, who covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 26:03. Dominic Ricci was the Broncos' fifth finisher in 14th place with a time of 26:46.
"While we aren't pleased that we weren't closer to Portland in the team race, our overall team times were closer to the Pilots than in past years," said men's coach John Maloney. "Mike (Helms) and Thomas (Chapman) didn't have their best races of the year today, but it was encouraging to see our depth getting closer to the top of our lineup. The WCC race is important to our team since it is the championship of our league. However, we really are looking to have a much better race in two weeks at the NCAA regionals at Stanford."
In the women's race, Bates and individual champion Allegra Porter of Saint Mary's College ran together throughout most of the race until Porter pulled away in the last 800-meters to take the :23 second victory. Bates covered the 5,000-meter course in a time of 18:05. Robin Bell was 11th overall, just ahead of 12th-place Courtney Daniels, who posted her top finish of the season. Katie Hansen and Milena Basile finished together in 17th and 18th place, respectively.
"I thought our team was in a good position after the first mile, but then we started falling behind where we needed to be," said women's head coach Tom Service. "We are a little disappointed that we didn't compete better for the overall team title but some days it just doesn't come together. We are going to have to regroup and get prepared for the regional race in a couple of weeks. As the defending champion and having beaten Portland earlier this season, we knew we would have a target on our back. We just didn't respond as we would have liked."
Santa Clara ends its 2002 season on Nov. 16 at the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course.