Sept. 26, 2007
The Santa Clara cross country team will be sending teams to the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday and the Stanford Invitational on Saturday. The top seven from the women's team will compete at Notre Dame and the entire men's team will be competing at Stanford, as well as five others from the women's team. Some of the top teams in the country will be competing in both races.
"Felipe [Montoro] and I sat down a couple months ago and looked at the fall schedule and the times from last year and determined that the Notre Dame invitational would be appropriate for the women this fall and the Stanford Invitational would give the guys a good competitive race," said head coach Tom Service.
At the Notre Dame meet will be #2 Michigan, #6 Illinois, and #9 Providence, but the Broncos are looking to surprise a lot of people. "For us to travel 2,000 miles to a meet, your objectives have to be high, so we're expecting to compete for first place," said Service. "We were just one runner away from the title last year, and I think this year we have the five that we need."
Senior Adriane Puetz, who has led the women so far this year, even setting a new Santa Clara record in the 6k two weeks ago, agrees. "We're deep through ten people. We just need to all be there on the same day," said Puetz. "I think we can definitely win."
Running for the women on Friday will be Puetz, Melissa Conlin, Veronica Vazquez, Whitney Porter, Blossom Marimpietri, Danielle Miller, and Annie Murphy-Hagan will make her 2007 debut after battling illnesses so far this year.
On the men's side, the Stanford Invitational will feature six of the top ten teams in the west. "It's a good opportunity for our guys to match up against some rated teams as well as some of their WCC foes that we'll be running against for the first time," said Service. "It's going to be a dogfight."
Two weeks ago the men set a team time record at Sundodger and it's not out of the question for them to improve upon that this week. "It could happen again," said Service. "If you look at times for Sundodger and the times at Stanford last year, they are pretty close. I look for some really fast times again."
"We set our goals early in the season pretty high," said Puetz. "We haven't changed them."
Tom Service on the team's health: "Our health is outstanding right now; it's never been better. We've really tried to individualize our training and we've come up with a good system. We're running very healthy right now."
Service on the Notre Dame Invitational: "Notre Dame is pretty fast. It's a lot faster that the USF Invitational, but slower than our Bronco Invitational. Still, I expect to see some low 18's [minutes] and possibly some sub-18's from our top runners."
Adriane Puetz on the reasons for the team's success this year: "We had a great track season last year and people have carried that over into this year, where they worked hard over the summer to really want to be faster. We've been staying healthy, staying positive, and really just coming together as a team."
Puetz on her personal success this year: "In the offseason I didn't set any goals, I was just enjoying every single run, every single day, and I felt good. It was fun again."