Bronco Distance Squads Picked Second In WCC Poll

Aug. 29, 2003

San Bruno, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's cross country teams have been picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference this season, according to a recent poll of the league's coaches.

The University of Portland was tabbed to claim both the men's and women's 2003 cross country titles. Portland was the unanimous favorite to win the men's competition, receiving the maximum of 49 points. In the women's poll, Portland earned 46 points, edging out Santa Clara by just one point. Both the Pilots and Broncos received four first place votes in the women's poll.

Last season, 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.

Portland's women's team reclaimed the title last year after Santa Clara broke the Pilots' five year winning streak in 2001. Last season, 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.

Santa Clara is slated to finish second in the men's poll, with San Diego coming in third and Gonzaga taking fourth place. Pepperdine was picked to finish fifth, while San Francisco received the only other first place vote and is slated to finish sixth. Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's round out the men's field in seventh and eighth place.

Pepperdine was picked to finish third, behind Portland and Santa Clara in the women's poll. San Diego was tabbed to finish in fourth place, while Gonzaga was slated for fifth place. San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, and Saint Mary's earned sixth through eighth place, respectively.

The 2003 WCC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship will take place on November 1 at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, Calif.

2003 WCC Preseason Cross Country Poll Results
(first place votes)
Men
1. Portland (7) - 49
2. Santa Clara - 40
3. San Diego - 32
4. Gonzaga - 31
5. Pepperdine - 25
6. San Francisco (1) - 21
7. Loyola Marymount - 16
8. Saint Mary's - 10

Women
1. Portland (4) - 46
2. Santa Clara (4) - 45
3. Pepperdine - 34
4. San Diego - 32
5. Gonzaga - 26
6. San Francisco - 15
7. Loyola Marymount - 14
8. Saint Mary's - 12