Host Santa Clara Takes 3rd and 7th at Bronco Invitational

Oct. 13, 2007

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Sunnyvale, Calif.- The Santa Clara cross country teams hosted another successful Bronco Invitational this Saturday at Baylands Park. The women took third out of 16 teams and then men finished in seventh place out of 17. As it has been all season, the Broncos were led by seniors Michael Delaurenti and Adriane Puetz.

Delaurenti finished second in the men's invitational with a time of 24:49 in the 8k, a full 55 seconds better than his time last year at the same event. Puetz took fourth for the women, recording a personal best 17:30 in the 5k. She has yet to finish out of the top ten this year.

"As usual, our two senior leaders, Adriane and Mike, continue to perform at a very, very high level," said head coach Tom Service. "Adriane continues to amaze and Mike is just running really super right now."

Delaurenti broke away from the pack at about the two and a half mile mark in sixth place and continued to make his way up as the race went on. "I had a surge right around the four mile mark to get me to second place and I just held onto it," said Delaurenti.

Puetz contributed a great amount of her success to being familiar with the course and knowing the strategy coming in. "The fact that we work out here every week, that we know the course, every turn and straightway, where to make your move, that was a definite advantage for us and I think we showed it," said Puetz.

The women's team got an unexpected boost from senior Veronica Vazquez, who turned in her best performance this year, finishing second on the team and 20th overall with a personal best time of 17:56. "The last couple of races I haven't ran as well as I knew I could, and this was the last race before the WCC Championships," said Vazquez. "I just had to break that mental wall and get my confidence back."

Finishing third for the women was freshman Melissa Conlin who has been a huge addition to the Broncos this year. "Melissa just continues to come up with big races," said Service. Conlin finished 23rd overall with a new personal record of 17:59.

Danielle Miller (37th) and Annie Murphy-Hagan (41st) were the final finishers for Santa Clara with respective times of 18:13 and 18:15. Service thinks that Miller and Murphy-Hagan will be up more with the top three when the conference championships come around.

"Great competition and I think we're heading in the right direction heading into conference. We're ready to take on our WCC foes at Crystal Springs," said Service. "We run hills well, so we're ready for that meet."

On the men's side, freshman Chris Sampson finished second on the team and 33rd overall with a time of 25:36. After that was Alex Harkins in 50th with a time of 25:54 followed by freshman Robert Reid who ran a 25:59 and finished in 54th place.

"I felt like our men were a little off today team-wise. Our pack broke a little too early," said Service. "However, the men's team runs really well at Crystal Springs (at the WCC Championships) as well, so we're not at all discouraged by this. We had a lot of positives."

Overall, the day was a success for Santa Clara. The fans came out in full force to cheer on the Broncos along with parents and alumni. "It felt awesome to have everyone there cheering for you," said Delaurenti. "Around every corner there was someone from the team or a family member, so that helped a lot," added Puetz.

Before the main races, the Broncos held their first Fun Run in which 15 participants ran the 5k course. "That was really enjoyable," said Service. "The weather turned out great and it was just really fun. It was a great day."

With this weekend now behind them, the teams get two more weeks to prepare before the WCC Championships which will be held at Crystal Springs on Saturday, October 27th.