September 26, 2006

2006-07 Bronco Men's Cross Country/Track Blog

Feb. 26, 2007

Junior Chris Furnari is back for more blogging as the 2007 Track season gets underway. Furnari will give weekly commentary right here throughout the 2007 track season as part of the new Bronco Blogs feature on santaclarabroncos.com. Furnari will give Bronco fans an inside view of what it is like to be a student-athlete at Santa Clara.

Chris is wrapping up his junior year at Santa Clara having participated in both cross country and track during his Bronco career. Out on the race course, Furnari has been a fierce competitor turning in some of his best performances in the big races. Furnari is also an avid writer. As he works toward his degree in Communications, he is a writer for The Santa Clara, Santa Clara's student newspaper.

Recent Blogs:


A Lot Has Happened
Monday, April 9, 2007, 9:21 a.m.

It's been a while since I last wrote and a lot has happened. I think when I blogged last, we had just returned from Pepperdine, and everyone had mediocre races. Things have changed. Our training is starting to pay off, and everyone is bringing their times down, week in and week out. Mike Delaurenti re-set his own school record in the 5k, with a 14:46 this past weekend. Close behind him was AJ Blumel with a 15:13, also a lifetime best. Tony Dipre nearly broke my own school record in the 800, with a 1:55.73, and I followed close behind with a 1:58.7. After beginning the season a bit injured, I have finally come back and am starting to get back to the shape I want to be in. Next week a Woody Wilson, I want to run close to my PR, and maybe even faster. I think I am ready, and I know it is time to start racing really fast again.

Since Pepperdine, We have raced at Davis, Sacramento, Fresno and SF State. Overall, SF State has been the best meet we have had as an entire team, both men and women. If our results this past weekend are any indication of how the rest of the season will go, then I am excited. The program is finally starting to head in the right direction. The recruits we have already signed are running equally as fast in their respective high school races. This is great news because it means the team is getting faster. Expect the Broncos to run fast this track season, next cross country season and in the years to come.
On a personal note, I recorded my highest GPA last quarter, with a 3.52 and am looking to improve on that in the spring. Classes seem like they will take a lot of work this quarter, but they are all interesting so the work will not seem as bad (hopefully). I am only taking three classes, in hopes that I can focus more attention on both track and the newspaper. Since my sports editor quit, I am kind of on my own for the first four issues, and will likely become the next sports editor of TSC.

Anyways, this blog is getting too long. Until next time...

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It's Track Season
Monday, February 26, 2007, 2:15 p.m.

Well it's track season and it's finally begun. Our first meet of the year took place in Los Gatos as many individuals ran some time trials to get a gauge on their fitness heading into the upcoming races. Our first official race however was the WCC challenge, held at Pepperdine. The trip was a bunch of fun. We rented a bus and headed down south for the meet. Despite some a few automotive troubles, the trip ran smoothly and I think we accomplished exactly what we were hoping for.

We arrived Friday afternoon to a beautiful day in Malibu. We took a pre-race warm-up around campus and attempted to reach the beach. When our attempts proved unsuccessful, we returned to the track for strides. I was excited to test out my new spikes but soon found that wearing them actually put more pressure on my already aching shin splints. I was unsure about the following day but hoped for the best for everyone on the team.

We then took our bus back to the hotel and found two other Bronco teams upon our arrival. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza alongside Men's Basketball, Men's Lacrosse and also the St. Mary's basketball team. After a team buffet at the hotel it was time to rest up for Saturday's "unofficial championship."

While some of the other teams competing may have taken the meet a bit more seriously, it was our intent to asses our current fitness in order to establish the next phase of our training program. There were some notable early season races however from Tony Dipre in the 1500 meters who ran a PR 4:03 to take third place. Also Mike Delaurenti ran a solid 3k in 8:55, despite a slow pace early on in the race.

Overall the trip was a beneficial experience for the entire team. I think most people are looking forward to not only the rest of the season but also next year's second annual WCC challenge.

I will now steal a would you rather from Blossom:

Would you rather race well at the WCC challenge in February, or the independent track championships in May?

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It's Been A While...
Monday, October 30, 2006, 10:52 a.m.

It has been a while...but the Broncos have done great things since I wrote last. Last Friday, we departed school around 3:30 and headed to Baylands for a flat pre-race run. From there we went to the hotel and got to hang out a bit. I was really excited to be on the conference team this year, even thought I was not racing. It was nice to be back in my hometown, visiting all the familiar places. We went to eat at a nice little Italian place, Bella Mangiata, which was delicious. I got the gnocchi, because that is my favorite. Before the race that evening, we all sat around talking about what the following day would be like. We all agreed that it was going to be a great day, and everyone was really positive going into the race.

Race day came and I ran the course before everyone else. I knew just from my own run, that they would run well...I could feel it. The guys toed the line after a warm-up and got after right from the gun. They looked really good throughout the entire race, especially Chris Gumbs who finished 6th overall in the race. That is one of the highest finishes ever for a Bronco and everyone was really excited.

After the race, we went back to the hotel to enjoy a delicious banquet prepared for us, courtesy of the WCC. A few of us dressed up in our Sunday best, if you could even call it that. It was more like a really bad 70's suit competition. We all got a really good laugh out of it, and the Broncos were definitely best dressed.

Everyone is looking forward to Regionals in two weeks. The Broncos hope to roll in Portland!

On a personal note, I am super stressed with classes. It's the 7th week of the quarter, and I am doing really well in class (FINALLY!), but it's getting so busy I can barely think! I really can't wait till Thanksgiving...the break is crucial!

See you all again come regional racing time!

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It's Championship Season!
Saturday, October 14, 2006, 10:34 p.m.

Its championship racing season...and the Bronco's are ready. While I did not have the best race possible at our own invite, our team still ran solid. Mike Hannon, the team's captain was on mission to prove himself...and he did exactly that. Hannon was the top Bronco of the day and looks solid coming into the conference championship meet in two weeks. The squad we have running at WCC's is ready to go, and perhaps the best in Bronco history...I am pumped.

I myself will be the alternate for that race, and most likely will be their biggest support while they race at one of the toughest courses in all of California...crystal springs. It would be huge and mean a lot to everyone to get a lot of student body support. It is the biggest meet of the year and support could mean the difference between a second and fifth place finish...

Going into the next two weeks...we are feeling relaxed, ready to run fast and train hard. It helps that everyone on the team is so motivated and pumped for the conference meet.

On a more personal note, the quarter is starting to catch up with me. Classes and the newspaper seem to be my life these days...but I am enjoying it. As soon as I was done racing at Bronco this weekend, I headed out to the Men's water Polo match. With 300 plus people there, it's easy to feel great about Bronco Athletics. I love the support and the enthusiasm among all students and cannot wait to perform in front of everyone at our conference championship.

Save the date: October 28th. Crystal Springs Cross Country Course, Belmont California. The team would love it if we got a lot of support...see you all at the race! 

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Notre Dame
Saturday, October 7, 2006, 8:13 p.m.

It took no longer than 5 minutes to hear the good word once we got off the plane from Notre Dame. Dan Smith cracked the 26 minute barrier for the first time at the Stanford invite, Andy Backus broke 27 with one shoe, and all the broncos represented the team well while the top 7 were in the Midwest.

For the Notre Dame squad, similar results were experienced. Although we placed in the same spot team wise as last year, we improved by about a minute on our team average from the previous year. I think many individuals would have liked to race a bit better, but everybody hung tough for 5 miles. The Broncos are slowly making their presence felt on the rest of the nation...

The week back meant catch up time in school, and another rigorous week of training. I am relieved however as we are beginning to taper a bit, and cut mileage as championship season approaches. There are good days and bad days, but for the most part I think everyone (including myself) is starting to feel good going into the conference championship meet.

While I am overwhelmed with 5 classes, writing for the newspaper, SAAC meetings, work, and of course practice, I am in good spirits because it keeps me busy. This past week I also started my first week of community outreach through the Arrupe Program here at school. I am working just a short 10 minute bike away from campus at the Adults with Disabilities center. Working there really puts my entire life into perspective...No matter how bad it gets, it could be worse.

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Back in the Swing of things
Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 1:02 p.m.

After a rigorous three weeks of preseason that included trips to San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Seattle, It was time to attend the first classes of the quarter. Thank God a basketball great like Steve Nash attended Santa Clara, because anything longer than 25 minutes on the first day would have seemed impossible.

It was like any first week at school. Familiar faces, new teachers, interesting classes, expensive books and of course practice. After returning home from Seattle, where our entire top 7 set Personal Bests, I was ready to hit the trails and get back into a regular schedule. Our coach told us that by far, the first week of school is the hardest. Not only because of the new regimen, but also because we would undergo perhaps the two hardest workouts of the season.

You could see the fatigue in our faces during the workouts, but we managed, and the first week only made us stronger. Now that it's all over, I can breathe a sigh of relief, and yet gear up for another long adventure: Notre Dame.

The top 7 girls and top 8 men will be headed to South Bend this week to compete in perhaps one of our toughest meets on the year. From what I can tell, everyone is excited, but relaxed...something we may have done wrong on this very same trip last year. I feel ready to race hard, and I know my teammates are ready as well. Make no mistake; The Broncos will be well represented in the Midwest this weekend, as both the men and women will gut it out for top spots at the Notre Dame Invitational. 

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