San Francisco, Calif. – Senior Ben Branagh finished in fourth place among 119 competitors and led the San José State men’s cross country team to a third place finish in the 24th University of San Francisco Cross Country Invitational.
Branagh’s time of 24:40.5, over the 8K Golden Gate Park course, earned him the fifth top-10 finish of his career. Jose Piña, a sophomore, was 10th in 24:58.4 and junior Josue Gonzalez came home in 24:59.4 and 12th place.
“Ben, Jose and Josue performed where I thought they would and I’m please with their results,” said head coach Brad Wick. “What is obvious is we need to close the gap to them with our number four through six finishers.”
Huruy Zeratsion was the fourth Spartan to cross the line, in a time of 25:55.9, and finished in 50th place. Craig Huff (26:03.4) and Raul Rodarte (26:03.7) finished in 54th and 55th places, respectively.
Evaristo Mateo, in his first collegiate competition, was 77th with a time of 26:56.5. Freshman Juan Gutierrez ran the 8K course in 27:21.0 (89th place) and sophomore Nicholas Leibmann was 103rd in 27:56.4.
“This meet was a good opportunity for us, and really everyone, to knock off the rust and see where we stand. We now know what we need to work on as we get ready for our next competition,” said Wick.
California’s Trent Brendel won the race with a time of 24:21.1 leading the Cal men to its second team win in as many years.
San Jose State has nearly a month without a competition. They are not scheduled to return to action until on Saturday, October 1 in the Stanford Invitational.
24th San Francisco Cross Country Invitational
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Golden Gate Park – 8K
1. California (21 pts)
2. San Francisco (57 pts)
3. San Jose State (91 pts)
4. Stanford (95 pts)
5. Saint Mary’s (128 pts)
6. Santa Clara (155 pts)
7. Cal State Northridge (200 pts)
1. Trent Brendel (California) 24:21.1
2. Robert Brant (California) 24:22.2
3. Alex Short (San Francisco) 24.25.4
4. Ben Branagh (San José State) 24:40.5
5. John Lawson (California) 24:42.6
San José State Finishers
10. Jose Piña - 24:58.4
12. Josue Gonzalez - 24:59.0
50. Huruy Zeratsion – 25:55.9
54. Craig Huff – 26:03.4
55. Raul Rodarte – 26:03.7
77. Evaristo Mateo – 26:56.5
89. Juan Gonzalez – 27:21.0
103. Nicholas Liebmann – 27:56.4