Oct. 26, 2006
It's that time of year - Championship season. Saturday, the Santa Clara Broncos head up the peninsula to Belmont, Calif. for the WCC Championships. To say that the team is pumped is quite an understatement. Here's what some of Santa Clara's best had to say about this weekend's race.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: So how are you guys going to beat Portland this weekend?
Shannon Bell: Yes.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: No, no, no, HOW are you going to do it?
Shannon Bell: Oh...[Laugh]...I thought you asked IF...[Laugh]...I think we'll do it just by running as a pack. We need to run together and work off of each other. I think we can do it.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: Crystal Springs is the first hilly course you guys will be running this year. How do you guys plan to adjust?
Shannon Bell: Our team is used to Crystal [Springs] because it's our home course and we've had a bunch of workouts there. It's definitely going to be an advantage for us, and our veterans have all raced there before.
A.J. Blumel: Yeah, we do workouts on hills all the time. We might not have much hill experience in a racing environment this season, but it definitely helps us to have done those hill workouts at practice. We run up at Crystal [Springs] a lot. We were there last week and it was one of our best workouts.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: How are you guys going to compete with teams like Gonzaga, USF, LMU and Portland? Are you guys going to give them a run for their money?
A.J. Blumel: Well, in a race like the WCC Championships, there aren't as many runners, so, guys like Gonzaga's front runner (who is pretty good) won't be able to hurt us as much in a race with fewer people. While he might be out front, the secret to beating these teams is to make sure that our pack stays close together and finishes ahead of the other packs.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: Veronica, this is going to be only your third race of the season, and your first of the season was just two weeks ago. How are you feeling - are you ready?
Veronica Vazquez: I am. The team is. We've been really strong in our workouts and we've all been together. We set out goals last year, and we're ready.
A.J. Blumel: We are definitely ready. I think that we are more focused this year than any of the three years I've been here.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: You guys must be pretty psyched for this weekend.
Chris Gumbs: It's going to be a really exciting weekend, I can tell you that. I hope a lot of people come out because we are really going to need everybody's support. The difference between a mediocre finish and a really good finish is going to be the little things, like getting a good night sleep, which has been difficult for me personally this week with midterms, but we are definitely ready to go.
Veronica Vazquez: Crystal [Springs] is my course. I ran there all through high school, and I absolutely love that course. It's a great example of what a good cross country course is. Go Broncos.