The women’s cross-country team fell just short of a first-place finish during the Bronco Invitational at Baylands Regional Park in Santa Clara, California. Junior Kelsi Lasota lead the women to their almost-victory with a 6k time of 20:39.8, finishing fifth place as an individual. Sophomore Anna French followed Lasota closely with a 20:42.5 time and an eighth place finish and freshman Samantha Kelderman also finished in the top 15 with a time of 20:51.8 and a 13th place finish.
The men’s team secured a seventh-place finish out of 17 teams at the Oct. 14 meet. Lead Bobcat for the men’s team was freshman Brandon Hough with a 24:12.4 8k time and a 16th place finish. Freshman Collin Buck followed Hough with a time of 24:33.2 and a 27th place finish and junior Anthony Schmalz was third for the Bobcats with a time of 24:42.2 in 39th place.
The Bobcats shaved seconds off their times running at sea-level in California. This advantage definitely helped the women’s team move to the front of the pack. “Our women’s team has great depth and our runners that finished in the top five ran really well,” Head Coach Lyle Weese said. “The course was so much faster [than any courses we’ve run on] since we’re down at sea level.” This meet was also a change of pace for the Bobcats since it was their first 6k of the season, compared to the usual 5k distance, which might have added to the team’s momentum.
Even with Lasota’s fifth place finish, the women’s team could not claim the title at the Bronco Invitational. Weese attributed this to San Jose State’s unexpected presence at the front of the pack, saying, “Our depth made up for a bit of that with our fifth runner, but we just couldn’t overcome their top three.”
Schmalz and sophomore Gannon Chamberlain, who finished fifth for the Bobcats with a time of 25:06.8, both performed especially well. Weese said since it’s their second and third years in the program, respectively, and they are coming along into their personal best times. He said, “It’s starting to come together for them, and they ran well today.”
The Bobcats will be heading to the Big Sky Conference Championships on Oct. 28 in Ogden, Utah for their last meet of the season.