COLFAX, Wash. — Santa Clara cross country produced its best showings in nearly a decade at the NCAA West Regional Championships on Friday. The men finished in 15th place (of 28) to match their best result since 2011 and the women took 23rd place (of 35) for their best effort since 2012 at Colfax Golf Course.
Individually, Jorge Estrella led the men for the fourth straight meet with a 30:40.3, good for 37th place. Janie Nabholz led the women for the sixth time in six races, crossing the finish line in 54th place on the strength of a 21:02.5 to close out the 2019 season.
Estrella scored along with Ben Davidson (79th – 31:12.3), James Konugres (102nd – 31:46), Spencer Fischer (110th – 31:58.7) and Aditya Mohan (133rd – 32:23.5). William Hunsdale and Harvey Chilcott also raced for the Broncos, who finished in a close pack of four teams with 459 points (Pepperdine – 13th 454, San Francisco 14th 458, UC Riverside 16th 460).
Portland (65 points) and Stanford (78 points) earned the automatic bids to the NCAA National Championship Meet. Washington's Andrew Jordan was the top individual finisher with a 29:43.4.
Head coach Felipe Montoro: "I am incredibly proud of our guys for getting 15th, and only being five points from 13th. Harvey got sick the night before unfortunately and Willy has been dealing with a cramp issue that flared up. They were key in our fourth-place finish at conference, but again, we showed our depth; James and Aditya stepped up to score for us and Spencer has been consistent all year. Jorge and Benny had by far their best races of the season when it mattered most. Jorge I believe is the highest finisher for the men at this meet and for Benny to come through for the team in the way he did was really special and I'm so happy for him to do it in his last race as a Bronco."
Nabholz, Sarah King (128th – 21:55), Noelani Obermeyer (132nd – 21:58), Emma McCurry (150th – 22:16) and Lucie Semone (158th – 22:22.8) scored for the Broncos. Hannah Covington and Maiya Fujiwara also raced.
Stanford (39 points) and Washington (49 points) secured spots in the national championship meet. The Cardinal had the top two finishers, including individual medalist Ella Donaghu (19:50.8).
Associate head coach Pete Cushman: "This performance capped off a very good season where we saw a lot of growth, competitiveness, and improvement. Janie once again put herself into the mix at the front, and her brave racing continues to be a highlight. Noe has been an instrumental leader for this program and I think we owe a lot of our continued growth and increased expectations to her leadership. Lucie came into the program at just the right time and injected another level of work ethic that has been infectious and positive for the culture of our team. I'm very proud of these two seniors."
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