Oct. 30, 2004
BELMONT, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's cross country teams entered Saturday's West Coast Conference Championships at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course with several of their top runners either not participating or competing at less than full strength.
Despite that, however, the Bronco men finished in third place at the league championships while the women posted a fourth place effort. Portland won both the men's and women's races, while Gonzaga took second in the 8,000-meter men's race. The Broncos finished two points ahead of fourth place Loyola Marymount and four points in front of fifth place San Francisco.
In the women's 5,000-meter race, San Francisco posted its best finish ever at the league championships with its second place effort, while Gonzaga edged the Broncos by just a two point margin for third.
"The league, on the whole, has really improved a great deal," said SCU Head Coach Tom Service. "Particularly, behind Portland, the top half of the league has become very competitive. You can tell that with the point totals. It's certainly a great thing for the league that nearly every institution is placing a greater emphasis on having success in its distance programs.
"I thought our men's squad really competed well today. The guys did the things we needed to do as a team to have a strong finish and I really thought the top four guys finished the race very strong. On the women's side, we were running without our two top returnees and our top runner at the beginning of the year is just coming off injury. Despite that, I'm really pleased with the effort of the entire team for battling through a gutsy performance."
Freshman Mike Delaurenti paced the Bronco men, finishing 14th overall in a time of 26:48. Chris Doerhoff was close behind with a 16th-place effort in 26:56. Taylor Graham (23rd), John Hinman (24th) and Andrew Blumel (28th) rounded out the scoring for the Broncos.
Senior Katie Hansen earned honorable mention all-WCC honors with a 12th-place finish in a time of 19:04. Freshman Adriane Puetz finished 16th, just :11 seconds behind Hansen, while Robin Bell was 18th in 19:21. Kiley Strong and Blossom Marimpietri finished the scoring for the Broncos, finishing 27th and 31st, respectively.
Santa Clara will end its season in two weeks at the annual NCAA West Regional Championships in Fresno, Calif.