With classes starting on Monday on the Mission campus, the Broncos will split squads this weekend in San Francisco and Portland and then take a couple weeks off to train even harder for the Stanford Invitational on Sat., Sept. 29. This weekend, the Broncos will run at San Francisco State in the Gator Invitational in Golden Gate Park on Fri., Sept. 14. They will also run at the WCC Preview Meet at Fernhill Park in Portland, Ore. on Sat., Sept. 15.
Bronco head coach Felipe Montoro is excited about the progress the team is making and looks forward to the results this weekend, the last race before the Fall quarter starts on Mon., Sept. 17. "This weekend is kind of our last weekend to work on our approach to racing and how we want our student-athletes to compete and their racing style, before we jump to even more serious and competitive racing. With that said, we expect this weekend to be very competitive."
"We are excited to get the season going and see what we have," said Montoro. "We want to see what we have to do to be competitive in our highly competitive conference with the league championship Oct. 27 in Portland this year. The West Coast Conference is really good again this year. It's amazing."
A number of West Coast Conference teams will run at the WCC Preview Meet, including Santa Clara, LMU, Portland, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga. In addition, Chico State, who is very competitive at D-II, Oregon State women and Washington State women are expected to run in a race Montoro calls 'very competitive.'
Montoro is happy the team will have a couple weeks before the Stanford Invitational to train hard, rest up some and get acclimated their Santa Clara classwork. "It just worked out well with not having to race the first week of school – it's just one less thing to worry about," said Montoro. "Ideally I like to take the week off between competitions to get quality work in, rest some and prepare for the next one. It doesn't always work out that way but it's nice when it does."
The Broncos have proven themselves battle-tested in the classroom for years. The men's cross country team led all Bronco teams with a 3.527 GPA during the Spring 2012 quarter. It is the fourth straight quarter they have led the men's side. They also have the top cumulative GPA at 3.461. On the women's side, the cross country team posted the highest GPA at 3.485 for the Spring 2012 quarter. It is the fifth time in six quarters the women's team has led the women's side in term GPA. Women's cross country has the highest cumulative GPA at 3.436
Montoro is sure that leading the department once again in GPA will be one of the team goals, but they haven't been set yet. " We use to do the goals when we first reported in August, but after the first few weeks of competition, we can more accurately do it now," said Montoro. "Most, if not all, of our runners outstanding high school students and want to continue that success in college. We have some really good students who major in everything."
In training, the teams have been doing a bit more race pace work this week. "We are always stressing how to read your body and gauge your body not based on the splits," said Montoro. "Being able to internally look inside to see how fast can you go and not how far do you have to go or when is the finish and what you will have to do to finish. Being able to rely on their sensory data to execute their most successful race. It doesn't sound very exciting, but it's a very important part of cross country because split times don't mean that much. The mile marker can be off. Running cross country is not like track where you know where the splits are exactly. You have to be able to feel it out on your own."
Montoro said it's hard to do, but that the Broncos have excelled at it this week. "I have been really impressed with the freshmen. They seem to really be adapting and training that way," added Montoro.