San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women’s cross country team hopes to build on last year’s success with a little help from returning runners and a promising
crop of newcomers.
"They've really been dedicated this summer," said cross country head coach Augie Argabright.
The women’s cross country season opens September 1 with the USF Invitational in Golden Gate Park. The women’s raced begins at 9:15 a.m.
Last year, the women's team took third and the men's team placed fourth at the USF Invitational, hosted by the University of San Francisco.
In that meet, first team All-WAC runner Tiffany Hall won the women's 5K race. Erica Sahli placed sixth.
Hall's successful cross country career at San Jose State ended after last year's NCAA West Regional race in Portland, Ore., where she placed 29th. She graduated with a degree in kinesiology last spring.
However, Hall leaves a good example for the Spartans to follow. San Jose State also returns second team All-WAC athletes Erica Sahli and Marlene Elizalde.
Sahli returns for her fourth year with the Spartans and second season as co-captain. She earned a second-team All-WAC selection two years in a row. In 2006, Sahli received a place on the Academic All-WAC list. She lettered in cross country and track at Villa Park High School in Villa Park, Calif. Sahli is the first female runner to have her jersey retired in Villa Park High School history.
Elizalde begins her fourth season at San Jose State and her first year as co-captain. Elizalde garnered second team All-WAC selection in 2006 and earned Academic All-WAC three years in a row. Elizalde graduated from Saint Paul High in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. in 2004, where she received recognition three times as an all-league pick in cross country and track.
In addition to Sahli and Elizalde, the Spartans return Nisha Richardson and Annaliza Rizo, both sophomores who scored top 20 times in the 2006 women's 5K race at the USF Invitational.
The team added depth with talented new runners, including Arely Marquez and Jacqueline Turner, to an already successful squad. Argabright said that competition for a spot in the lineup would be strong.
Marquez, a freshman, begins her first season at San Jose State. She lettered in cross county track and soccer at Yerba Buena High in San Jose. Marquez was awarded the Most Valuable Player in cross country and track all four years. She finished second at the 2006 Blossom Valley Athletic League cross country championships. Marquez finished second in the 1,600 meters at the 2007 Central Coast Section Championship with a lifetime best of 5:04.72.
Turner, a freshman at San Jose State, lettered in cross country at Orange Lutheran High in Orange, Calif. Turner finished in the top-20 in three C.I.F. Division IV state championship meets. She received a Division IV all-state team selection and first-team C.I.F. Southern Section choice in 2005. Orange Lutheran named Turner the school's Female Athlete of the Year for 2005.
Lindsay Bryant, a senior twice named to the Academic All-WAC list, She served as the sports editor of the Spartan Daily in spring 2007. Her best time in 2006 at 5K was 20:34.00 at the Bronco Invitational in Santa Clara, Calif.
Erica Elias, a senior and native of San Jose, placed 44th at the Stanford Invitational in 2006.
Lindsay Briner, a junior in her second year with the Spartans, she was the captain of her high school cross country team. Briner placed a personal best 38th in the Stanford Invitational in 2006.
Victoria Chavez, a junior and two time Academic All-WAC honoree, placed a season-best 40th at the Stanford Invitational. Chavez is a San Jose native.
Jenna Hicks, a junior beginning her third campaign with the Spartans finished 12th at the Stanford Invitational in 2006.
Suzanne Hancock, a second year Spartan, ran 19:55.80 at the Bronco Invitational in 2006. Last year, Hancock earned Academic All-WAC honors. Amanda Carlucci, a sophomore, placed a season-best 13th in a 6K race at the Gator Invitational in San Francisco, Calif., last year. Her best time in 2006 in a 5K race was 19:30.40 at the USF Invitational.
Freshmen Danneille Cardoza, Lauren Dubay, Jessica Gonzales, Morgan Hancock, Brooke Lawrence, Meaghan Vinton and Lisa Worsham all bring accomplished resumes from their high school cross country days. Redshirt freshman Rebecca Ulrich looks to run competitively in 2007. A four-sport athlete, she lettered in cross country, soccer, track and volleyball at San Lorenzo High School in Felton, Calif.
Argabright said the Spartans worked hard this summer and, "They’re ready to go."
Last Year's Results
2006 USF Women's Cross Country Invitational
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif.
Team scores: 1. California, 34. 2. USF, 53. 3. San Jose State, 57. 4. Santa Clara, 79. 5. UC Santa Cruz, 159. 6. Pacific, 183. 7. San Francisco State, 193.
Top finishers: 1. Tiffany Hall (San Jose State) 17:37.90. 2. Bridget Duffy (Cal) 17:43.00. 3. Rebecca Yau (Cal) 17:51.00. 4. Shannon Bell (Santa Clara) 18:05.40. 5. Jennifer Hartford (USF) 5:51.80 .
San Jose State returnees: 1. Tiffany Hall 17:37.90 6. Erica Sahli, 18:21.90. 13. Nisha Richardson, 18:46.60. 20. Annaliza Rizo, 19:02.70. 29. Jenna Hicks, 19:23.50. 32. Amanda Carlucci, 19:30.40. 43. Suzanne Hancock, 20: 02.40. 59. Lindsay Briner, 21:12.80. 65. Erica Elias, 21:51.20. 66. Lindsay Bryant, 22:04.70. 69. Victoria Chavez, 22:51.30.
Note: Hall graduated in spring 2007.