September 23, 2009

Cross Country Travels to Stanford Invitational

Sept. 23, 2009

The Santa Clara men's and women's cross country teams are back in action this weekend, running at the always-competitive Stanford Invitational on Sat., Sept. 26 on the Stanford Golf Course.

The men's race, an 8K, begins at 10:55 am and the women's race, a 6K, begins at 11:30 am. The women's side features eight of the top 15 teams in their region and the men's side will feature six of the top 15 teams in their region. In addition, Division II powerhouse Chico State, who is ranked in the top five nationally, will run both races.

Santa Clara will run its top 10 runners on both sides. The top 10 will be picked from those who are healthy, running well and based on the results of the first two meets. It's a sure bet Santa Clara junior Stephanie Wilson will suit up for the Broncos after winning the Sac State Invitational earlier this month. Bronco head coach Tom Service expects Wilson will run in the lead pack.

Service said the women's team is still young. "We haven't gotten any older since our last race," said Service with a smile. "We are an inexperienced crowd, but this is a great opportunity for us to run against some elite teams and runners. It will be a good experience for them in gauging how fast to go out in a large, talented field. They will work to figure out where they will settle in early - maybe with the lead pack or at the beginning of the chase pack. It's a great experience for them."

On the men's side Bronco associate head coach Felipe Montoro wants his team to continue to work on running together. "We want to have a small spread between our first and fifth runner and we continue to do that," said Montoro. "We expect Robbie will run at close to the front of the pack and compete with high-level athletes. He is still young and learning to compete at a higher level than he has before. He's ready to lead the team."

On the women's side Service called Erin McCarthy `an extremely positive surprise'. "We really didn't know what to expect because she was injured so much her freshman year," said Service. "She is training well and racing well early."

Montoro is looking for the men to continue to gain valuable race experience that will pay off at the WCC meet and the NCAA Regionals held in Oregon in mid-November.

"We need to get better every race," said Montoro.

On the women's side it is the freshmen debut of Mary Reynolds from Mountain View High School.

"Mary is a little behind because she was injuried this summer, but she is making up ground," said Service. "She and Carey Parker look to be in the front for our team."