The Santa Clara men's and women's cross country teams made the trip down I-5 to UC Riverside for the annual UCR Cross Country Invitational this weekend. Facing tough competition on both sides, the men finished in seventh place with 25 teams competing and the women were 13th out of 24. Future WCC member BYU dominated the men's race and national power Arkansas easily won the women's competition.
Both teams will be back in action next Saturday at the Stanford Invitational.
The women's invitational race was first and the Broncos were led by junior Nicole Giove who finished in 65th place with a 5k time of 18:18. Following Giove were: freshman Allie Sibole in a personal best mark of 18:28, freshman Lauren Germany also ran a personal best finishing in 18:35, sophomore Carey Parker continued her comeback from a spring injury running 18:40 while junior Meghan McNamara made her first trip under 19:00 crossing the line in 18:57 and sophomore Haley Ney finished in 19:09.
A few Bronco Women competed in the Open race and also performed well. They were led by freshman Jamie Anderson who ran 18:48. Sophomore Erin Hartwig finished in 19:05, senior Melissa Conlin ran 19:28 and sophomore Sara Aliotti finished in 19:43.
"I was very pleased with our Freshmen today," said Bronco head coach Tom Service. "They all ran big Pr's and competed very well, it was also great to see Nicole lead the team for the first time in her career. We sat out a few girls with minor aches and pains and we are looking forward to slowly piecing our team together for the post season. Today was a step in the right direction."
The men had to navigate a field of 322 competitors and did so very well. They were led once again this season by sophomore Kevin Oliver. Oliver ran a personal best mark of 25:05 for the 8k race to cross the line in 38th place. He was closely followed by junior Austin Jones who also set a personal best running 25:08. Freshman Ben Demaree crossed the line in 25:23, again, a personal best. Fourth for the Broncos was sophomore Marcos Hinojosa, who was competing for the first time this season, he finished in 25:32. Junior Matt Savage scored for the Broncos for the first time in his career running a personal best of 26:08.
Also running for SCU were: sophomore Matt Mosier (26:20, PR), junior Evan Hennessy (26:22), sophomore Gareth Morl (26:35, PR) and freshman Moises Venegas (27:17).
"The men executed our race plan perfectly today," said Bronco associate head coach Felipe Montoro. "Kevin, Austin and Ben moved up the entire race and finished looking great. It was nice to have Marcos back and I was happy for Matt to score for us, he has worked very hard this summer. We are red-shirting some key members of the team this season and it was good to see some younger guys step up and lead the team."