SAN FRANCISCO — In its second meet of the 2016 season, Santa Clara cross country produced some breakthrough performances Thursday morning at the Speedway Duals in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow Meadow. Wilder Boyden turned in the top time for the Bronco men to take seventh place and Heather LaPlante ran the fastest time on the women's side to take ninth place.
Saint Mary's, Academy of Art, Sacramento State and host San Francisco State also raced at the meet. As a team, the Bronco men took second place in the field of three Division I teams behind Saint Mary's while the women placed third behind Saint Mary's and Sacramento State. Three freshmen — Jack Davidson, Ben Davidson and Noelani Obermeyer — each finished in Santa Clara's top four and 31 Broncos ran overall.
"I was very pleased with the progress both teams have made during preseason," head coach Felipe Montoro said. "Both teams did an excellent job of pack running, something that we have really been emphasizing."
The Gaels won both the men's and women's races. Saint Mary's runners Gabe Arias-Sheridan and Abby Bolt posted the fastest times of the day.
MEN'S 7250m — 1. SMC 2. SCU 3. CSUS
Boyden led the way for the Broncos with a time of 23:39. Santa Clara's other five scoring runners — Ryan Greenough, Noah Westfall, Jack Davidson and Ben Davidson — crossed the finish line just five seconds apart.
7. Wilder Boyden – 23:29
10. Ryan Greenough – 23:37
11. Noah Westfall – 23:38
12. Jack Davidson – 23:39
15. Ben Davidson – 23:42
Coach Montoro: "I was pleased with our pack and some of our freshmen and sophomores really performed well today. Wilder Boyden, in particular, was awesome. He is just starting to realize how good he can be."
Associate Head Coach Pete Cushman: "Collectively, the men ran great races today. Saint Mary's is a tough and proven team, and I was really happy to see some underclassmen stick their noses in it. Wilder ran a great race — he owes it all to a great summer."
WOMEN'S 5800m — 1. SMC 2. CSUS 3. SCU
9. Heather LaPlante – 22:54
11. Bevin McCullough – 23:04
16. Julia Wood – 23:09
17. Noelani Obermeyer – 23:11
18. Marisa Rudolph – 23:17
Coach Montoro: "We would have loved to be closer to Saint Mary's and we just got edged by Sac State, but it was definitively an improvement from two weeks ago. Individually, Marisa Rudolph had a real breakthrough today."
Coach Cushman: "Marisa Rudolph has been working so hard for two years, and it's really rewarding to see her put together such a great effort. We were very pleased with the tight spread and the improvements from our last race. We have room to grow, and fortunately it's a smart and dedicated group."
The Broncos have a two-week break from competition before splitting their squad between the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. and the Capital Cross challenge in Sacramento, Calif. on Oct. 1.
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