Oct. 29, 2005
BELMONT, Calif. - Sophomore Shannon Bell, running in her first championship meet in nearly two years, proved she is fully recovered from the injury that prevented her from competing for the Broncos last season.
The Spokane, Wash. native equaled the best-ever finish for a Santa Clara University runner to lead the Broncos to a third-place finish at the West Coast Conference Women's Cross Country Championships Saturday morning at Crystal Springs XC Course.
In the men's championship race, senior John Paul Thyken finished 13th to lead five Broncos runners among the top 25 finishers and a fourth-place team finish.
"There's no doubt that both teams are a bit disappointed with our results today," said SCU head cross country coach Tom Service. "In the women's race, Shannon Bell really ran well, as we expected, and freshman Veronica Vazquez surpassed her personal best on this course by about a minute. But, as we did in the men's race, our pack broke up early and we weren't able to make up the ground that we lost. Certainly we could use injuries to some key runners on both teams as excuses for our team finishes, but we could have done more to help ourselves.
"We have two young and talented teams and I know we'll learn from this and continue to improve."
Vazquez, was the league's second-best freshman finisher, crossed the finish line in 13th place with a time of 18:52. Senior Kiley Strong finished 24th overall in a time of 19:23, while freshman Whitney Porter ran 19:30 and finished 26th. Anna Wheatley was the Broncos fifth-finisher, taking 28th in a time of 19:34.
On the men's side, Thyken covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 26:49 to finish 13th overall, just two places ahead of freshman teammate Michael Hannon's 15th place and 26:53 performance. Senior Chris Doerhoff was just clipped at the finish line to finish 20th in a time of 27:01. Christen Gumbs was 24th in 27:09 and freshman Chris Mulvany finished 25th in a time of 27:14.
Santa Clara returns to action in two weeks at the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course.