San Francisco, Calif. - The San Jose State University men's cross country team opened the season in San Francisco's picturesque Golden Gate Park with the starting line on the Polo Field grounds under a sunny sky on September 1.
The Spartans finished third as a team in the men's 8K race at the 15th annual USF Invitational.
San Jose State's Luke Galvan, a freshman, clocked the fastest Spartan time for seventh overall in 26.28.30. Galvan's pace did not surprise the Spartans. "Luke ran real well for his first race," said assistant coach Jeff Argabright. "We know what he's cut out for."
Argabright said he'd seen Galvan run in high school and expected good things from the first-year Spartan. Galvan posted best times of 1:58.1 in the 800 and 4:26 in the mile at Whittier High School in southern California.
Galvan said his performance pleased him. He credited his team captain, Gordie Throne, saying, "Gordie helped push us. He's a good guy and a good captain."
Sean Dundon, a junior, ran the second-fastest time for the Spartans for 13th overall with a time of 26:40.00. His time was almost 46 seconds faster than the 27:25.40 he ran in the USF Invitational last year.
Chris Hart, a senior, finished as the third fastest Spartan and 14th overall with a time of 26:45.00. That mark is the second-fastest 8K race of Hart's Spartan career. Sam Wambugu turned in a time of 26:49.20. He was the fourth fastest Spartan and 16th overall. Wambugu ran 28:09.90 in the USF Invitational last year.
Freshman Rigoberto Vasquez ran as the fifth fastest Spartan. He completed his first collegiate race in 26:56.70. Throne said, "Rigo has a really good start and he's going to push the others up there."
Throne said the team ran well at the USF Invitational. He added that training at 9,000 feet during the summer was good for the runners physically and helped provide a mental edge.
Throne said, "It helped give us confidence at sea level."
Throne finished as the seventh Spartan runner and 27th overall. It was the second best 8K time of his college career at 27:24.70.
Santa Clara University took first both as a team and individually, with Mike Delaurenti running 25.41.50 for the Broncos.
In team standings, the University of California ran second, San Jose State took third, San Francisco State placed fourth and the University of San Francisco finished fifth in a field of five teams.
Head coach Augie Argabright said, "The team did really well."
15th Annual USF Invitational
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif.
Team Finishes: 1. Santa Clara, 24; 2. California, 49; 3. San Jose State, 69; 4. San Francisco State, 99; 5. San Francisco, 129.
Top Finishers: 1. Mike Delaurenti (Santa Clara) 25:41.30; 2. Batbileg Bor (San Francisco State) 26:09.50; 3. Alex Harkins (Santa Clara) 26:14.90; 4. Johnny Cheng (California) 26:21.80; 5. Chris Mosier (Santa Clara) 26:22.90.
San Jose State Finishers: 7. Luke Galvan, 26:28.30; 13. Sean Dundon, 26:40.00; 14. Chris Hart, 26:45.00; 16. Sam Wambugu, 26:49.20; 19. Rigoberto Vasquez, 26:56.70; 22. David Haefele, 27:06.40; 27. Gordie Throne, 27:24.70; 37. Alan Shelton, 28:08.40; 45. David Blausey, 28:41.10; 49. Jonathan Gragert, 29:07.70.