SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara cross country hits the course to begin the 2017 season Saturday morning at the USF Invitational in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow Meadow. The women's 6-kilometer race begins at 10 a.m., followed by the men's 8-kilometer race at 10:45 a.m.
The venue features a 2,000-meter loop — which was introduced at the meet for the first time in 2016 — and a balance of grass and dirt trails alongside uphill and downhill sections. Saturday's race marks the first of eight competitions through the second week of November.
Senior Hannah Wood and junior Bevin McCullough top the group of returners for the new season. Wood ran the fastest time for SCU at the 2016 Bronco Invitational with a 6-kilometer 21:59.6 and McCullough scored for the Broncos in four of her five events.
Allison Martinez finished in Santa Clara's top five in five of her six races as a junior one year ago, including posting the best time by a Bronco at the Stanford Invitational. Noelani Obermeyer led the Broncos at the West Coast Conference Championships and also placed second on the team twice as a freshman in 2016.
Head Coach Felipe Montoro: "Our captains Hannah and Bevin have done a great job so far in helping assimilate a large freshman class, which came to campus fit and ready to contribute. We just want to get a little better every week and I'm looking forward to finding out this group's starting point."
Click here for more on the women's incoming class.
The Broncos return a strong top pairing of redshirt senior Joey Berriatua and sophomore Jack Davidson. Berriatua's 8-kilometer 24:25 at the 2015 Bronco Invitational is the fifth-fastest time in program history. The San Mateo, California native redshirted last fall. Davidson's 24:36 mark in the same event during the 2016 season is the ninth-best mark overall.
Senior Noah Westfall and junior Wilder Boyden also return as lineup staples from last season. Westfall scored in all six races and finished in the top three among Bronco runners four times in 2016. Boyden scored four times in six meets, including taking second among his teammates at the NCAA West Regional Championship.
Coach Montoro: "I'm really excited about this year's team. We have a great blend of veteran experience and youthful talent with Joey and Jack plus the deepest supporting class we've ever had. I can't wait to get things going with this group."
Click here for more on the men's incoming class.
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