September 1, 2010

Cross Country Opens Season; 4 Runners Named All-WCC Preseason

Santa Clara, Calif. – With four preseason All-WCC runners on the teams, Santa Clara's men's and women's cross country teams, both picked fourth in the preseason coaches poll last week, start the 2010 campaign this weekend when it runs in the San Francisco Invitational in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Sat., Sept. 4.  The race will be a 5K for the women and an 8K for the men. 
"Although it is not a Championship race, the race in San Francisco this weekend is a great early indicator of how fit your runners are  at the beginning of the season," said Bronco head coach Tom Service, who coaches the women. "We have a great group of freshmen and it will be interesting to see who is ready to step up and race Division 1 Cross Country. Our top seven could be very competitive but it will be imperative to keep everyone healthy."

"We are looking to introduce the freshman to competing over 8k as opposed to the 5k distance they competed in high school. Also, it is our first opportunity to prepare as specifically as we can for the post season in a race environment," said Bronco associate head coach Felipe Montoro, who coaches the men.  "Our returnees and recruited freshmen report early for preseason. It is a great opportunity for the team to focus on running for a month before school starts and bond with each other as well. Preseason is a lot of fun." 

Picked to the preseason All-WCC team last week were the women's Stephanie Wilson and Mary Reynolds and on the men's team, Chris Sampson and WCC runner-up Robbie Reid.  Service said there were no surprises in being picked fourth this year on both sides in the WCC.  "It is probably an accurate assessment of the talent in the WCC."

Wilson was the WCC Champion in 2009, finished a school-best sixth at the NCAA Region Championship and was named All-American after finishing 28th at the NCAA Championship in November.

Service believes the women's side of the WCC will be more competitive in 2010 than ever before. "Our all-conference runners will definitely be some of the top individuals in the NCAA West Region and comparable to the other  top conferences Having Stephanie and Mary picked to repeat on the All-WCC team is an honor and a challenge. Both are very fit and looking forward to another outstanding cross country season. We will choose Stephanie's races very carefully  to give her the best chance of a return to the NCAA Finals in Indiana in November."

"We are pleased that the other coaches recognized Robbie and Chris as preseason all-conference selections," said Montoro. "Their performances at last year's WCC Championship merited their selection. The WCC is highly competitive in cross country, with some very outstanding teams and individuals representing the conference at the highest level in the NCAA Championships every year. Santa Clara Cross Country is looking forward to seeing how we will fare against the rest of the Conference on October 31st and the West Region on November 13th."

"This early in the season, it is pretty difficult to predict how things will turn out in October and November," said Montoro. "However, I anticipate our team dynamic to be a little different this year with some new faces competing in the post season for us. Tom, Priscilla and I are really looking forward to the season."