Bronco Harriers Open Track Season With Strong Performances

March 10, 2003

The Santa Clara University men and women's cross country teams opened their spring track season with encouraging performances at the Benny Brown Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. and the Bruce Drummond Invitational in Sacramento.

The Broncos sent split squads to the two meets and several runners enjoyed personal best outings. For the women's squad at Fullerton, Robin Bell led three Broncos who set personal bests in the 5,000-meters with an eighth-place time of 17:57.69, just ahead of ninth-place Milena Basile's 17:59.07. Katie Hansen surpassed her previous best by :42 seconds, finishing in a time of 18:26.14 in the field of 45 competitors.

"I am really pleased with our performances this weekend," said Tom Service, in his second year as the head coach of the women's program at Santa Clara. "We had three competitors finish with personal bests and they are all running with confidence after a pretty grueling cross country season. I like the times we are running now and expect to see continued improvement throughout the spring. For Robin and Milena to surpass 18:00 this early in the year shows their potential for faster times later this spring."

Ricky Brackett was the only Bronco men's Harrier to compete at the Benny Brown Invitational, finishing with a time of 15:42.10.

At the Bruce Drummond Invitational in Sacramento, the men took center stage as Chris Doerhoff and Pat Green both set personal bests with 5,000-meter times of 15:38.73 and 15:39.60, respectively. Kevin Edwards finished in 16:37.14 and Devlin Croal ran 16:37.71. Dominick Guidera finished in 18:01.81. Michael Wall competed in the 1,500-meters and finished with a time of 4:18.28.

"I really wanted to challenge Ricky to compete against the faster competition at Fullerton and work to get him to be more competitive at that level," said men's coach John Maloney. "Chris and Pat ran well in Sacramento. They organized well in a chase pack and finished strongly to set personal bests. It is especially nice to hit PR's early and still have eight weeks left until the final meet. Confidence is very high for faster times later in the year."

On the women's side, Cara Payne led the charge running very comfortably in 19:16. Kiley Strong and Tara Rooney enjoyed their first collegiate track meet, finishing in 20:08.20 and 20:09.57, respectively.