UVU cross-country: men place third, women 10th at Santa Clara
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — A balanced showing helped the Utah Valley University men's cross-country team to a third place finish at the eighth annual Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on Saturday in Northern California. Josh Monsen led the way for the Wolverines, while Brooke Hodson-Davies helped the women's team to a 10th place finish.
In what was the largest field of the season for UVU — 18 teams and 193 runners made up the men's field with 19 teams and 204 athletes on the women's side among just the Division I schools.
The third place finish came one spot in front of No. 29 Stanford with other WAC schools Idaho (ninth) and New Mexico State (16th) also in the field. Loyola Marymount (84 points) took the top spot with UC Santa Barbara (86 points) in second in front of UVU, which scored 92 points. San Francisco's Eric Causey took home top individual honors.
"The men ran really well. They were aggressive from the beginning and kept that pack within nine seconds, which is amazing. They did a great job," head coach Scott Houle said. "They're a confident group and they know they can have a great shot to win at the conference championships as long as they're smart and can stay healthy."
Monsen finished 23rd with a time of 24:30.7 in the 8K race. Right behind him was Jason Lynch in 24th with a time of 24:31.1. Also among the leaders for the men were Chris Brower (30th, 24:33.1), Trac Norris (31st, 24:33.8) and Chuk Mitchell (42nd, 24:39.7).
Hodson-Davies crossed the finish line in 25th with a time of 21:14.1 in the women's 6K with Bridget Hazel second on the team in 50th in 21:32.3.
"We sort of got swallowed up at the beginning where we were at the back of the pack. With 250 people running we had to spend the rest of the race trying to catch up," Houle said. "We do feel good with the individual times. They were great for the girls. Collectively if we can just get out a little faster that will improve the team score for us."
Loyola Marymount (53 points) and UC Santa Barbara (88 points) finished in the top two spots in the women's race, while LMU's Grace Graham Zamudio won the individual race. Other WAC schools in the field were four-time WAC champion Idaho (fourth) and New Mexico State (15th).
The Wolverines now have next week to prepare before competing in their first WAC Championship on Nov. 2 in Seattle. The NCAA Mountain Regional will be Nov. 15 in Ogden.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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