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Santa Clara Bronco Runners Earn Third and Fourth Place Rankings in WCC Pre-Season Cross Country Polls

Sept. 7, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After strong finishes in the 2005 WCC Championships, the Santa Clara University men's and women's cross country teams today earned very favorable rankings in the WCC preseason polls, as chosen by the WCC coaches. The women's team, led by senior Shannon Bell, earned a third place ranking with 36 points, while the men's team earned a fourth place ranking with 32 points. Today's poll rankings mirror last years WCC Championship results.

Led by head coach Tom Service, Shannon Bell and the Santa Clara women's team have their eyes set on another successful season. In the 2005 WCC Championships, Bell took 2nd place and is already demonstrating her great form for this season after a 4th place finish at the San Francisco Invitational last Saturday, September 2nd. The men's team also demonstrated their excellence with top-ten finishes from Juniors Chris Gumbs and Mike Delaurenti, who finished Saturday's race 4th and 7th, respectively.

Once again, the Portland Pilots lead both the men's and women's polls. The Pilots' men's team has won the men's race in each of the past 27 years, while their women's team has been has won 16 of the past 21 WCC sponsored championships. Loyola Marimount was picked to repeat as WCC runners-up for both the men's and women's polls, with the men's team from the University of San Francisco sharing that position.

Both the Santa Clara men's and women's teams will be on the course again on Saturday, September 16 for the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, Wash. as well as the Sacramento State Open from Sacramento.

2006 WCC Men's Preseason Cross Country Poll
1. Portland - 49 (7)
T2. Loyola Marimount - 38
T2. San Francisco - 38
4. Santa Clara - 32
5. Gonzaga - 28 (1)
T6. Pepperdine - 16
T6. San Diego - 16
8. Saint Mary's - 7
(First place votes)

2006 WCC Women's Preseason Cross Country Poll
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. Loyola Marimount - 41 (1)
3. Santa Clara - 36
4. San Francisco - 34
T5. Gonzaga - 21
T5. Pepperdine - 21
7. San Diego - 15
8. Saint Mary's - 7
(First place votes)