Bronco Harriers to Compete at West Coast Conference Championships

Oct. 28, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's and women's cross country teams will be back in action this weekend when they compete in the West Coast Conference Championships at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, Calif. on Saturday morning. The first race begins at 9:00 a.m., with the second beginning 45 minutes later.

The Bronco women shared the top spot in the preseason poll with Portland heading into the 2004 season, while the men were tabbed to finish third in Saturday's race. The SCU men will battle with preseason favorite Portland and Gonzaga for the top finishes at Belmont.

SCU has a strong knowledge of the course, as the Broncos hosted their season opening race, the Bronco Invitational at Crystal Springs on September 4. Both the Bronco men and women picked up team victories in the competition, starting the 2004 season on the right foot.

Last season, the Santa Clara women finished second behind the Pilots as Lauren Swigart placed fifth with a time of 18:34. In 2001, the Broncos broke Portland's stretch of five straight titles, claiming SCU's first women's cross country championship.

Along with Swigart, the Bronco women will field a strong team of veterans and newcomers in 2004. Seniors Robin Bell and Katie Hansen have had solid seasons heading into the WCC meet. Bell has consistently performed well at Crystal Springs, finishing third in the Bronco Invitational and ninth in the championship meet a year ago. Hansen was SCU's top finisher at Cal Poly on October 16, placing 22nd in a time of 19:02.

Sophomore transfer Jessica Baldwin-Philippi will also make an impact in Saturday's results. In her first race as a Bronco, Baldwin-Philippi won the Bronco Invitational at Crystal Springs in a time of 19:29.68. Freshmen Ann Thomas and Adriane Puetz along with sophomore Blossom Marimpietri will also compete on Saturday. Each runner has a solid knowledge of the course, as each finished in the top-15 in September.

The Bronco men finished third last season at the conference championships as John Paul Thyken and John Hinman anchored the men's efforts. Both Thyken and Hinman will return to Crystal Springs this season after 15th and 25th place finishes a year ago, respectively.

A young and talented crop of newcomers, along with junior Chris Doerhoff will compose the remainder of the men's team at Belmont. Doerhoff has been one of the most consistent Bronco runners this season, finishing among the team's top three in four races this season. Freshman Michael Delaurenti has been steadily improving through out the year, pacing the Bronco men in each of their last four meets. Omar Ahmad, Andrew Blumel, and Christen Gumbs will round out the men's competitors, as each will be racing in their first West Coast Conference Championship meet.

Directions to Crystal Springs
From Santa Clara:
El Camino Real to I880 south
I880 south to I280 north
I280 north to Highway 92 east
Highway 92 east to Ralston Avenue
Left turn on Ralston Avenue
Right turn on Halmark Drive
Park on street outside of Halmark Park (on right 1 mile from Ralston)
Walk up path into course (0.4 mile to starting line)