SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A trio of Spartans set personal records in the 1500 meters at the Hornet Invitational track and field meet on Saturday. Ben Branagh led the way by finishing seventh out of 75 runners.
"With 600 meters to go in the first heat, Ben took the lead as the race was pretty fast," described Spartans cross country coach Brad Wick. "He was cruising but mistimed his kick a little bit but still ended up with a P.R."
Branagh, a sophomore from Belfast, Ireland, finished in 3:51.83, besting his previous personal record by 1.76 seconds that he ran at the West Coast Last Chance meet last May.
Running in the next heat, freshman Jose Piña finished third in the heat, and 18th overall with a time of 3:58.36.
"Jose got off slow but did a good job sitting in the pack and took the lead with 400 meters to go," said Wick. "He ran a 59 second last lap and ended up with a P.R."
The third Spartan to compete in the 1500 meters, junior Raul Rodarte, finished 26th with a time of 4:01.67.
"All three runners had PRs which doesn't happen in the first meet of the season normally. It puts them in a good position to have great races coming up," said Wick.
1. Zach Hansen, Saint Mary's (Calif.), 3:47.75; 2. Valentin Pepiot, Academy of Art, 3:47.82; 3. Edward Shephard, San Francisco, 3:49.10; 4. Adam Thorne, Stanford, 3:49.86; 5. Pierre Fontanarosa, Academy of Art, 3:51.28; 7. Ben Branagh, San José State, 3:51.83; 18. Jose Piña, San José State, 3:58.36; 26. Raul Rodarte, San José State, 4:01.67.