SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara cross country is set to compete for the first West Coast Conference Championships of the 2016-17 season Friday at Tecolote Shores Park in San Diego. The women's 6k gets started at 10 a.m. PDT, followed by the men's 8k at 11 a.m. — both races will be streamed live on TheW.tv.
The championship venue features a multi-loop course right along the water at Mission Bay, with each loop measuring 2k.
"Both teams have had a great last few weeks of training heading into the WCC Championships," head coach Felipe Montoro said.
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Greenough and Westfall will race at the conference meet for the third time in their Bronco careers. They each scored for Santa Clara at last year's meet; Greenough took 27th place overall to lead the team and Westfall crossed the finish line in 51st.
Each of Santa Clara's seven other runners makes his WCC debut Friday morning. Freshman Davidson topped the group by taking 35th place overall at the Santa Clara-hosted Bronco Invitational two weeks ago. Olivero finished within four seconds of Davidson.
"The guys have been gaining confidence, fitness and experience all season and are ready to get after it Friday," Montoro said. "I'm particularly interested to see how our four freshmen handle the competitive environment of the postseason and if Ryan Greenough can lead us to the team finish we think we are capable of. With a good race, we can finish in the top half of the conference. With a a great race, we can really suprise some teams in the top three or four."
The women's team boasts six runners with conference championship experience. Kuehn makes her third trip to WCCs and Rudolph will compete at conference for the second time.
LaPlante took 29th place overall and finished third on the Broncos behind Second Team All-WCC runners Mary Kriege (14th) and Grayson Murphy (15th) last year. She led Santa Clara at the Speedway Duals (9th place) and Chile Pepper Festival (84th place) this season.
"We are excited to be adding Heather back in the mix for the women after missing some time with a minor injury," Montoro said. "Her leadership and talent are certainly going to help us out in San Diego. We have been working very hard on keeping our collective focus inward and on each athlete maximizing her individual effort. If we can execute that mindset well, I will be very pleased with the outcome of the race."
NATIONALLY/REGIONALLY RANKED TEAMS
Men: No. 4 BYU (2 – Mountain), No. 12 Portland (4 – West), San Francisco (8 – West), Gonzaga (11 – West), Saint Mary's (15 – West)
Women: No. 8 Portland (3 – West), No. 13 San Francisco (4 – West), No. 20 BYU (4 – Mountain), Loyola Marymount (14 – West)
LAST SEASON (Click Here for recap)
SCU Men: 7th place (of 9) | SCU Women: 6th place (of 10)
BYU ran away with the men's title and Gonzaga beat BYU on a tiebreaker for the women's title at Plantes Ferry Sports Park in Spokane, Washington.
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