The Bronco cross country team will head down to Southern California for the West Coast Conference Championship on Sat., Nov. 2. The Championship is being run at Pepperdine in Malibu for the first time ever.
The race will be streamed - you can watch by clicking here. The men's race, which starts at 9 am, will be an 8K. The women's race, which starts at 10 am, will be a 6K. Admission is free to all spectators.
Bronco head coach Felipe Montoro (FM) sat down with SantaClaraBroncos.com this week to talk about the championship.
SCU: Let's start with the mean. Please talk about how the shape the men are in and is everyone healthy and ready to run this weekend?
FM: Things are coming together at just the right time. Injuries and illness are behind us and we are the best prepared we have been all season to run to our full potential. We have 9 guys who are eager to test themselves and our competition.
We are adding All-WCC runner Ben Demaree and Bryan Crook to the top seven from the Bronco Invitational roster. That will be our conference roster. It is so nice to have them back competing again after injuries and illness.
SCU: How about the women? Please talk about how the shape the women are in and who you are racing this weekend.
FM: The women are in great shape. Emily Robinson has recovered from her illness and the women have continued to improve all year. Our conference is very competitive once again this year. We feel like this group is ready to move up significantly from our finish last year, and mix it up with some of the best.
Unfortunately, Allie Sibole is out for the season. She is a captain and a very good runner, but the women have responded well to her absence on the race course. Despite not racing, Allie is still a important part of this team and will be with us in Malibu.
FM: That's right - we went down to Pepperdine for the WCC Preview meet, so that was the best preparation we could have had. We also do a lot of our workouts in a similar environment, so we feel as ready as anyone for the course.
SCU: The weather is supposed to be really nice and about 63 degrees. Is this good running weather?
FM: The weather is a factor that all the teams have to deal with, good or bad. But it looks like it won't really effect the race to much either way, so that is good.
FM: Ultimately, we just want to run our best race, be ultra-competitive and see where we finish. We think we have a legitimate shot of finishing ahead of some teams ranked ahead of us, some well ahead of us. Beating those teams at the WCC Championships has been the focus all season and now we have our chance. We would like to continue our successful pack running, but I also think we have a few individuals that will surprise some people and finish well ahead of their projected place.
FM: USF, BYU, LMU and Portland are very strong this year. We don't want to just give them 1-4, but it looks like they will have to do the other teams some favors to fall out of those positions. We feel like we can be the fifth-best team, and have some individuals mix it up in the front of the race. Gonzaga is really strong again this year and very well-coached. They look like the team to beat for 5th place, but we can't forget about a strong USD team and Pepperdine, who will have the advantage of being at home. It is going to be a lot of fun and our women are ready for the challenge.