Broncos Gain Valuable Experience at Griak, Stanford Invites
Three different groups of Santa Clara cross country runners competed a little more than 2,000 miles apart Saturday. Santa Clara sent its top men's group to Minnesota's Les Bolstad Golf Course for the Roy Griak Invitational while Bronco men's and women's teams raced at the Stanford Invite just up the road from the Mission campus.
Roy Griak Invitational (Falcon Heights, Minn.)
After running a personal best 8k time of 24:57.6 at the WCC Preview Meet, junior Ryan Greenough came through with another strong performance as the top Bronco finisher. He took 50th place individually out of 301 runners with an 8k time of 25:55.5.
"Ryan Greenough ran his best race as a Bronco to lead the team today. He has so much room for improvement still, which is encouraging," head coach Felipe Montoro said.
Senior Kurt Ruegg — who posted the second fastest Bronco time — took 60th place overall with a mark of 26:03.7. Junior Bryan Crook also found himself in the top 100, picking up speed down the homestretch to come in at 76th overall with a time of 26:13.7. Santa Clara finished 20th in the 31-team event. Peter Stephens, Noah Westfall, Joey Berriatua and Adrian Hinojosa also ran as part of the seven-man squad.
"Kurt was really aggressive early and learned a lot from the experience. It will serve him well at regionals in six weeks," Montoro said. "Bryan Crook was just a little too tentative early, but closed very well for a solid finish; he is always such a consistent competitor. Pete and Noah ran well and picked up the slack with Joey and Adrian being off.
"We will get back to work the next few weeks and they will be ready for the Bronco Invite and the postseason."
Stanford Invitational (Stanford, Calif.) — Women
Hannah Wood and Grayson Murphy — a pair of freshmen — crossed the finish line one second apart with times of 23:17 and 23:18, respectively, in the women's 6k. Senior Kelly Ryan lost a shoe and battled through to finish four spots behind Wood at 23:20. Montoro said Ryan did well to help the team despite facing early adversity.
"Hannah Wood and Graysee Murphy are getting better every week and learning more and more about competing at the college level," Montoro said. "Today was a very good learning experience for the women. We are looking forward to building on their races next week at Montana."
Stanford Invitational — Men
Senior Sean Roe ran the fastest Bronco time with a 25:56 in the 8k and freshman Andrew Melendez finished the race in 26:02. Junior Leland Wong and senior Tony Ferrari also took to the course to round out the Broncos field of four.
"We need them to continue to improve and provide support for our top five going forward," Montoro said of Roe and Melendez.
The Bronco women return to competition next Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Montana Invitational in Missoula, Mont. The men will join the women at the next full team competition Oct. 10 at the San Francisco State Invitational.
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