STANFORD, Calif. — Joey Berriatua has come a long way in the 3,000-meter steeplechase during his final season on the track. Santa Clara's redshirt senior posted a program-record 8:52.04 at the Payton Jordan Invitational on Thursday night, solidifying a spot in the NCAA West Regional Meet.
Berriatua's time is the 23rd-fastest in the nation this season; runners with the top 48 times automatically qualify for the second season. Less than two months after his first collegiate steeple, Berriatua has set two school records in four tries (9:00.50 at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival). He is also the first Bronco to run the event in under nine minutes.
Berriatua took 9th place in his section and Santa Clara teammate Zach Litoff posted a 9:06.27 — his second-best time of 2018 — to take 11th.
"There's no runner in our program more deserving than Joey to accomplish and earn something like this," associate head coach Pete Cushman said. "He has worked hard and been the best teammate for five years. He has had his sights set on this since he came on his official visit as a high school recruit.
"We are very proud of what he has accomplished and excited to see him make a run at the finals."
BRONCO TEAMMATES OUT IN FULL FORCE
"I was impressed with his teammates, family and our administration," head coach Felipe Montoro said. "They came out in full force and we had a huge cheering section for Joey and Zach. I was really proud to be a Bronco today."
Santa Clara sends a larger contingent to the Sacramento State Open on Saturday.
RACE DAY LINKS
Women's 5,000-Meter Run @ 10:30 a.m.
Men's 5,000-Meter Run @ 10:53 a.m.
Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase @ 11:30 a.m.
Women's 1,500-Meter Run @ 11:45 a.m. (Three Heats)
Men's 1,500-Meter Run @ 12:05 p.m. (Five Heats)
Women's 800-Meter Run @ 1:37 p.m. (Four Heats)
Men's 800-Meter Run @ 1:54 p.m. (Four Heats)
Women's 400-Meter Hurdles @ 2:12 p.m. (Two Heats)
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