October 25, 2007

Cross Country Prepares For WCC Championships

Oct. 25, 2007

The Santa Clara men's and women's cross country team will be competing in the WCC Championships this coming Saturday, October 27. The Broncos are coming off a very strong performance two weekends ago at their own Bronco Invitational in which the women took third place and the men finished in seventh.

Seniors Michael Delaurenti and Adriane Puetz have been rock solid for the Broncos so far this season, leading their respective teams in every race. Also for the women, another senior, Veronica Vazquez had her best race of the year at the Bronco Invitational, finishing second on the team, and will look to carry that through to this weekend. With the men, freshman Chris Sampson will push hard again to stay near the front of the pack.

"We're ready," said head coach Tom Service. "We had four very successful meets and now we're ready for the championship part of the season."

The WCC Championships are run every year at Crystal Springs, a challenging, hilly course that differs greatly from the flat Bronco Invitational that the teams just ran, but if anything, Santa Clara is looking forward to the challenge. "Crystal is one of the only true cross country courses around," said Service. "It lends itself well to our type of training. We do a lot of hills in practice."

For some of the Bronco seniors, this will be the fourth time running the course for Santa Clara, but many of them have run it even more in high school and other times and are very familiar with the course. Even some of the freshman won't be facing Crystal for the first time, having run it in high school as well. "We also have a great group of fans that come out to cheer us on because it's basically a local meet," said Service.

Facing Santa Clara will be stiff competition, leading off with Portland. The Portland men have won the WCC Championships every year since 1979 and their women have won ten out of the last eleven, their one loss being to Santa Clara in 2001. Both teams are ranked at the top of the conference and near the top of the region this year. Also giving the Broncos some good competition will be Loyola-Marymount and San Francisco for both the men's and women's teams.

Service isn't ruling anything out, though. "If we run as well as we're capable of," said Service, "Anything is possible for our teams."