Wilson Wins WCC Cross Country Title - school's First-Ever WCC XC Title

Oct. 31, 2009

WCC PHOTO GALLERY

For complete results see WCCSports.com

Santa Clara University cross country made history this morning on the Crystal Springs course at the West Coast Conference Championships when Bronco junior Stephanie Wilson (San Jose, Calif./Mitty) tied the WCC course record to win the women's title - claiming Santa Clara's first-ever cross country title on either side. In addition, Bronco junior Robbie Reid (Mountain View, Calif.) finished as the WCC runner-up - Santa Clara's highest finish ever on the men's side. Both broke school records with their times.

The Bronco teams finished fourth with the Portland men winning its 32nd straight WCC title, an NCAA record. USF won the women's title.

Santa Clara had four All-WCC first team finishers with Wilson (1st women), Reid (2nd men), Mary Reynolds (7th women), and Chris Sampson (7th men) all finishing in the top 10.

Both Wilson and Reid were the WCC Runners of the Month in September.

Wilson ran a 20:32 to win the title. Freshmen Mary Reynolds was 7th at 21:45, Carey Parker was next in 18th place at 22:35 and Erin McCarthy was 34th at 23:08. Junior Melissa Conlin was Santa Clara's final scorer in 36th place at 23:12.

"I felt really, really good the whole race. I was relaxed and just kept trying to spread the lead out," said Wilson, who didn't even run at the WCC meet two years ago because she didn't make the Bronco team.

Wilson said on the course friends were shouting to her `you are 8 seconds ahead, 10 seconds ahead', etc. so she kept trying to spread the lead. "It's just such an emotional win with so many of my family, friends, my godparents, so many alums and former teammates here supporting us," said Wilson.

Wilson said Service's son, JT, sent her an email telling her to stay relaxed - even in the first mile and she felt she did just that.

"We knew before the season started that Stephanie could win the title. She is so fit physically and really ready mentally as well. She is just super confident right now," said Bronco head coach Tom Service. "Our next three finishers were all freshmen so that is good for the future. Mary Reynolds ran so well."

Reid finished at 24:56 and fellow junior Chris Sampson was 7th at 25:23. Freshman Marcos Hinojosa was 21st at 26:05, Senior Alex Harkins was 22nd at 26:05 and sophomore Evan Hennessey was 26th at 26:11.

"It was perfect race conditions," said Reid. "I could tell he was tired by his heavy breathing so I surged ahead. The three of us kept going back and forth, but the last K I really made an effort to stay strong, but relaxed."

Reid felt like the race gave him plenty of confidence and sets him up nicely for a top 25 finish at the NCAA Regional meet in two weeks - which would be an NCAA Championship berth. "The training has really paid off."

"I knew it was going to be a dog fight for Robbie. If Portland brought anybody but Alfred Kipchumba - one of the top runners in the country - Robbie had a chance to win. He stayed confident and ran a really smart race - very relaxed," said Associate Head Coach Felipe Montoro. "Our men executed the race plan just about perfectly. At the beginning of the year Chris Sampson was beaten by 11 other USF runners so this was a great day for him - he ran the race of his life."

When asked how they would celebrate today - Halloween - Reid said he was going as Speed Racer tonight and Wilson was debating with her sister as to what they would be as they walked away to cool down.

Either way - it's a great day to be a Bronco!