PROVO, Utah — Santa Clara cross country turned in solid results at the 2018 West Coast Conference Championships on Saturday morning. Jack Davidson took 24th and led the men to a fifth-place finish in the 8-kilometer race with a 24:41.2 while Sarah King took 33rd and paced the women to a seventh-place finish with a 22:37.2 at East Bay Golf Course.
The men placed fifth in 2017 and have produced their best back-to-back years of racing at conference since taking third place in 2010 and fourth place in 2011. The women improved upon an eighth-place finish in 2016 and a ninth-place finish in 2017.
Davidson, Zach Litoff (28th – 24:56.6), Jorge Estrella (29th – 24:57.3), Aaron Brumbaugh (33rd – 25:11.8) and Ben Davidson (38th – 25:27.9) scored for the Broncos. James Konugres, Brennan Lagerstrom, Christian Raslowsky and Xander Olivero also ran for Santa Clara.
Santa Clara's 46-second spread was the third-lowest in the field behind team Champion BYU (24) and last-place San Diego (42). The Broncos bested Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and San Diego.
BYU took the team championship by placing its top five runners at 2-3-4-5-7 and scored 21 points to best Portland (52). Pilot runner Nick Hauger claimed the individual title on the strength of a 23:20.8 in a competitive field that featured seven regionally-ranked and three nationally-ranked teams.
Head coach Felipe Montoro: "I am extremely proud of the team. They ran a really smart race and it was the toughest I think we have competed all year. We thought that maybe we could grab fourth, but USF's top two were too much for us to make up. This is one of the most competitive conferences in the country and we couldn't be happier with our performance. I was really happy for senior Aaron Brumbaugh and junior Ben Davidson who really came though for us today and ensured we could hold off Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's. We are looking forward to the regional meet in two weeks."
King, Noelani Obermeyer (36th – 22:40.8), Hannah Covington (40th – 22:48.7), Emma McCurry (41st – 22:52) and Jamie Ferris (56th – 23:43) scored for the Broncos. Claire Cocales, Ellie Kopf, Carolina Avelar and Marisa Sanchez also ran for Santa Clara.
The women (198 points) bested Gonzaga (206) and Pepperdine (268) for the second straight meet and finished one spot ahead of Pacific (205). They outraced the Bulldogs and Waves as hosts of the Bronco Invitational two weekends ago.
BYU's Erica Birk crossed the finish line first with a 19:45.6 as one of two runners to break the 20-minute mark (Portland's Lauren LaRocco). The Cougars took the team championship by placing its top five runners at 1-3-6-8-9 and finished with 27 points to edge Portland (40).
The Broncos are back to competition on Friday, Nov. 9, for the NCAA West Regional Championship at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California.
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