SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara cross country will compete for the West Coast Conference Championships in the Bay Area on Friday morning. The Broncos line up against conference foes at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, California.
The women's 6-kilometer race gets the day underway at 10 a.m. The men's 8-kilometer race is set for 11 a.m. The event concludes with an award ceremony at noon.
Friday's meet features some of the top teams in the country, including a men's field with two of the nation's top three sides in BYU and Portland. Two-thirds of the men's field is regionally ranked, including Santa Clara at No. 12 in the USTFCCCA West Region. There are two nationally ranked groups for the women — No. 4 San Francisco and No. 28 BYU — and three regionally ranked squads.
RACE DAY LINKS
Balance has been the name of the game for the team this season. Four different Broncos have led the team in its four major meets. Marisa Sanchez set the pace at the season-opening USF Invitational (22nd place) on Sept. 2, Janie Nabholz topped the team at the Sundodger Invitational (42nd place) on Sept. 16, Emma Eikelberner (3rd place) led the Broncos to a dual victory over Saint Mary's on Sept. 22 and Ellie Kopf (87th place) topped the team at the Bronco Invite.
Santa Clara boasts one of the conference's top one-two pairings in Jack Davidson and Joey Berriatua. Davidson has finished in 10th place or better in all four meets this season and Berriatua is coming off a school-record 8-kilometer performance at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational. Freshman Zach Litoff has scored for Santa Clara in all four races of his debut campaign.
NATIONALLY/REGIONALLY RANKED TEAMS
Men: No. 2 BYU (2 – Mountain), No. 3 Portland (1 – West), No. 29 San Francisco (7 – West), Gonzaga (10 – West), Santa Clara (12 – West), Loyola Marymount (13 – West)
Women: No. 4 San Francisco (2 – West), No. 28 BYU (4 – Mountain), Portland (8 – West)
LAST SEASON (Click Here for recap)
SCU Men: 7th place (of 9) | SCU Women: 8th place (of 10)
LAST TIME OUT: SANTA CLARA BRONCO INVITATIONAL
Berriatua, one of the most accomplished cross country runners in Santa Clara history, added to his résumé on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Baylands Park. He ran a 23:50.5 in the men's 8-kilometer invitational race to set the SCU school record as part of the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.
The redshirt senior's mark is two seconds faster than Kurt Ruegg's previous school record of 23:52.5 from the 2014 West Coast Conference Championships. That year's conference meet was also held at Baylands Park.
As a team, Santa Clara took fourth place among 17 Division I programs for its best finish at the event since 2009. In addition to Berriatua's eighth-place finish, Jack Davidson (10th place – 23:52.9) made the top 10 for the fourth time in four meets this season. Will Burschinger (39th – 24:38.2), Litoff (47th – 24:43.7) and Ben Davidson (53rd – 24:49.6) also scored for the Broncos.
Freshmen Kopf (87th – 22:14.7) and Nabholz (97th – 22:25.3) led the way for Santa Clara's women in the 6-kilometer invitational race. Sanchez (102nd – 22:28.8), Allison Martinez (106th – 22:29.9) and Bevin McCullough (111th – 22:36.0) rounded out the team's scoring five for a spread of less than 11 seconds among the second through fifth SCU runners.
Santa Clara topped a pair of WCC and Bay Area foes in Pacific and Saint Mary's; the team also outraced Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno State and Hawai'i.
CONNECT WITH THE BRONCOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA