Both the Bronco men's and women's cross country teams finished sixth at the West Coast Conference Championship on Saturday morning. The men scored 155 points. The women scored 194 points, topping host-Pepperdine by seven points.
The No. 5 BYU men's team and the No. 17 USF women's team won the WCC titles at Alumni Park on the Pepperdine University campus. Jason Witt (23:14) of BYU won the men's 8k race, while USF's Bridget Dahlberg (20:55) captured the women's 6k title.
Bronco head coach Felipe Montoro praised the men as running 'tough' as they knew it was going to be a challenge to crack the top four or five. "Our pack was excellent today, we just needed to be a little further up the field, and we didn't really have low stick, like a lot of the teams we were hoping to beat," said Montoro. "However, it was a drastic improvement over last year's performance, even though we were only rewarded with sixth rather than seventh. I am proud of the development these guys have made since last year, and we are only going to get better next year at WCC's. We are all looking forward to the West Region Championship in 2 weeks."
Two sophomores led the Broncos with Adrian Hinojosa finishing in 25th place at 25:07. Fast on heels was Sam Holeman, who finished in 28th place at 25:16. Junior Bryan Crook was 32nd at 25:27. Seniors Luca Signore (25:30) and Ben Demaree (25:31) rounded out the scoring for the Broncos in 34th and 36th place respectively. Seniors Moises Venegas placed 37th at 25:38 and Ezana Tesfu finished 38th at 25:42.
"We got really tough performances from Ben and Bryan who to be honest, have had a lot of set backs this fall and not run very much," added Montoro. "For them to score and help the team was great. But really, all of our guys did what we asked of them and should be proud of their efforts with Adrian leading the team again."
On the women's side, the Broncos hoped to be a little closer to Gonzaga and Montoro thought there could be more separation between SCU and Pepperdine in 7th as well. "However, like the men, we are a much better team than last year, even though it is not really reflected in the results," said Montoro. "We are excited to get back to work for the next 2 weeks and go for out best finish in a long time at regionals."
Junior Mary Kriege was the top finisher on the women's side for the Broncos. Kriege was 20th at 22:02. Seniors Lauren Germany (22:39) and Emily Robinson (23:10) finished in 32nd and 44th place, respectively. Junior Kelly Ryan was 47th at 23:16. Another Junior, Audrey Hiatt, rounded out the scoring in 51st place at 23:30. Senior Kayla Germany finished 60th for SCU at 24:07 and sophomore Allison Maio was 62nd at 24:19.
"Mary once again had a great race. She is so consistent," said Montoro. "Emily Robinson also had a good day for the women."