Bronco runners anxiously await their final event
The Santa Clara
November 9, 2017
The Santa Clara Men’s Cross Country team is coming to the end of an exciting season as they approach their regionals competition. Currently ranked 12th in the West region by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the team competed in the West Coast Conference Championships at the end of October.
Led by Captain Joey Berriatua, they finished fifth in the conference with 165 points, which is their best finish since placing fifth in 2014. At the meet, Berriatua set a new record for the school’s 8k with a time of 23:50.0, beating his previous record by 34.5 seconds. The meet’s outcome was up to par with Head Coach Felipe Montoro’s expectations. When asked if their placing aligned with his hopes, Montoro said, “Definitely. We were, in preseason, eighth, and throughout the season we have been slowly moving up in projections.
We were slated to finish fifth, and so it’s always good when you can meet those expectations.”
The team will compete in the NCAA Division I West Regionals on Nov. 10 in Seattle. The team hopes to land in the top 15 and hold their spot in the highest ranks.
While they are currently ranked 12th in the West, moving up in the rankings is always a goal. Coach Montoro has high hopes for the Seattle meet.
“We are only graduating two of the seven guys that competed in [the last meet],” Montoro said. “Hopefully, it means that we are continuing to stay in the top half of the conference and start creeping our way up towards the gold standard, on the men’s side, University of Portland and Bringham Young University.”
Coach Montoro’s goal for the team is to remain in the top 15, where they have been for most of the season.
In past conferences, the team has faced some difficulty in the regional meet because of the large emphasis on conference meets.
Addressing possible challenges at their meet in Seattle on Friday, Coach Montoro said, “The level of competition is the highest we will meet all year. First and foremost, conditions sometimes can be a factor in Seattle and it could be wet and muddy. We do not think it is looking to be too bad, so hopefully we only have to deal with the fields.”
Montoro explains that because of tough competition and unknown weather conditions, the cross-country team will train selectively, but effectively, until the end of their postseason.
As the team winds down this season, they are in a taper period, which means they are running less than they do during their normal season.
This ensures that when they compete in their final meet, they peak effectively and feel their best, refreshed selves.
Outside of this, the team is not changing any pre-race routines or rituals as they approach this final meet in Seattle.
“We incorporate a little bit more rest, but other than that, we sort of keep things as usual,” Montoro said.
Most importantly, he said, the team is “looking to continue to improve and take something away that makes [them] better.”
Contact Addy Camisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.