Oct. 14, 2006
SUNNYVALE, Calif. --Santa Clara University hosted their annual Bronco Invitational Saturday at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, Calif. Led by freshman Annie Murphy-Hagan, the women's team finished tied for 4th place, and the men finished in 6th place.
Saturday's event featured the largest field of competitors in the recent past, featuring 235 athletes from 14 schools, including USF and St. Mary's from the WCC.
Leading the women was freshman Annie Murphy-Hagan, who ran her best race this season, finishing 7th with a 5k time of 17:50. Right behind her was fellow freshman Gillian Fitch, who ran in just her second race this season, and came in at 18:18, good enough for 24th place. Whitney Porter turned in one of her best races as a Bronco, finishing 26th with a 5k time of 18:21. Senior Lauren Swigart, who has been near the front of the pack most of the season was forced to drop back after losing her shoe near the start and then having to get it back on. Despite the trouble, she finished strong and was the 5th Bronco across the finish line, 53rd overall with a 5k time of 18:57.6.
The men's team was led by sophomore Michael Hannon, who had his best race of the season, finishing 26th with an 8k time of 25:33. Hannon, along with teammates A.J. Blumel and Stephen Koch started back a ways, and after the second mile, increased their pace significantly to overtake most of the field. Behind Hannon came junior Mike Delaurenti, who finished 31st with an 8k time of 25:41, followed by Alex Harkins and A.J. Blumel, all turning in times under 26 minutes.
For the men's race, the individual winner was Forrest Tahdooahnippah from Stanford who finished in 23:56, as Stanford was the team champion. In the women's race, Charlotte Schonbeck from Nevada finished first with a 5k time of 17:24, though Stanford was the team champion in that race as well.
Final preparations for the WCC Championships are now well underway. Next weekend, Santa Clara will participate in the Shoreline Invitational, and then on October 28th, Santa Clara will take on WCC rivals Portland, USF, Loyola and St. Mary's at the WCC Championship at Crystal Springs in Belmont, Calif., as Shannon Bell looks to improve upon her 2nd place finish from 2005.