Sunnyvale, Calif. -- On Saturday morning, two Spartans finished in the top-10 to pace the San José State men's cross country team to a victory at the 2016 Bronco Invitational in Baylands Regional Park. In its final competitive tune-up of the 2016 season, the Spartans earned their second win in as many years in the event.
"We were solid and our top-5 in particular put forth a great effort," said head coach Brad Wick of his team which finished ahead of seven regionally ranked squads. "I was really pleased to see Craig (Huff) step up. Huruy (Zeratsion) also ran really well. Some of our guys had an off day, but I expect Josue (Gonzalez) to be back to form for the Mountain West Championship."
Jose Piña, a sophomore from San Jose, ran the fastest 8k of his collegiate career (23:47.0) and led the team with a sixth-place finish on the fast Baylands Regional Park tract. Senior Ben Branagh was ninth in a time of 23:57.8, the first sub-24 minute effort of his Spartan career.
Wick predicted a top-20 finish for Huff earlier this week and the junior product of Huntington Beach, Calif.'s Marina High School, proved his coach to be a visionary. Huff crossed the line in 15th place, in a time of 24:11.9. He cut more than 30 seconds off his time from last year's Bronco Invitational.
Rounding out the five runners that scored for the Spartans were Zeratsion and Gonzalez in 33rd and 36th places, respectively. Zeratsion finished in 24:34.5, his best time in six races as a Spartan. Gonzalez was just over two seconds behind Zeratsion, in a time of 24:36.7.
The final two competitors to cross the line for San José State were Evaristo Mateo, who finished in 26:23.3 and Juan Gutierrez who crossed the line in 27:46.7.
"We beat UCLA's "B" squad," said Wick. "But don't be fooled, they're all blue-chip runners and some could compete for UCLA's "A" squad right now. I was also happy that we beat UC Santa Barbara, who finished ahead of us two weeks ago (at the Stanford Invitational). We also distanced ourselves from the other schools in California that competed in this event.
"Our goal was to improve from two weeks ago and we did that. We could be a very dangerous team at the Mountain West (Championship) and Regionals."
The Bronco Invitational
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Baylands Regional Park -- 8k
- San José State (79 pts.)
- UCLA (88 pts.)
- UC Santa Barbara (117 pts.)
- Saint Mary's (124 pts.)
- Loyola Marymount (157 pts.)
- Texas Tech (165 pts.)
- California (181 pts.)
- Santa Clara (207 pts.)
- New Mexico State (224 pts.)
- UC Davis (232 pts.)
- Portland State (304 pts.)
- San Diego (343 pts.)
- UT San Antonio (349 pts.)
- Sacramento State (352 pts.)
- Fresno State (378 pts.)
- Pepperdine (393 pts.)
- Grand Canyon (409 pts.)
- Northern Colorado (529 pts.)
- Gabe Arias-Sheridan (Saint Mary's) 23:27.8
- Miguel Bautista (Texas Tech) 23:32.5
- Benard Keter (Texas Tech) 23:37.0
- Daniel De La Torre (UCLA) 23:44.0
- Adam Avila (UC Santa Barbara) 23:45.9
- Jose Piña (San José State) 23:47.0
- Matt Leach (Unattached) 23:49.3
- Jordy Ceja (UC Davis) 23:55.6
- Ben Branagh (San José State) 23:57.8
- Trevor Halsted (Unattached) 23:59.3
|15.||Craig Huff (24:11.9)|
|33.||Huruy Zeratsion (24:34.5)|
|36.||Josue Gonzalez (24:36.7)|
|150.||Evaristo Mateo (26:23.3)|
|172||Juan Gutierrez (27:46.7)|
|Raul Rodarte (DNF)|