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Cross Country Heads To Paradise For Big Wave Invite

Sept. 21, 2007

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This Week In Cross Country: The Saint Mary's cross country team will compete in the annual Big Wave Invitational Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Kane'ohe Klipper Golf Course on the Marine Corps Base Hawai`i in Kane'ohe, O'ahu. The 5K men's race begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by a 4K women's race at 7:55 a.m.

The Competition: Saint Mary's will go up against all four Hawaiil Division II programs and host Hawaii (Brigham Young-Hawai`i, Hawai`i Pacific, Chaminade, and Hawai`i-Hilo), along with Mountain West Conference teams San Diego State and Brigham Young.

Last Week Recap: The Saint Mary's cross country team continued its 2007 campaign with some impressive times at the 63rd Annual Aztec Invitational. The men's team placed 12th in the 8k Invitational while the women placed 13th in the 5k Invitational. Junior Mario Mendoza paced the men's team once again with a 27:18 while Karrie Hagedorn led the lady harriers with a 19:08.

A New One-Two: The Saint Mary's men's team has a new look to its frontrunners. Junior transfers Mario Mendoza and Nick Shea have led the Gaels thus far. Mendoza and Shea opened their SMC career with times of 27:32 and 28:31, respectively at the Chico Invite. The duo bettered that with times of 27:18 and 27:36, respectively at the Aztec Invitational.

Young Gunz: Saint Mary's freshmen Tess Grannemann and Maddie Dengler have made an immediate impact on the women's squad. Granneman etched her name in the SMC record books with a 6k time of 23:31, which ranks eighth all-time. At the Aztec Invitational, Grannemann again placed second on the team, with a 5k time of 19:36. Dengler ran a 25:29 in her first collegiate race and then crossed the line in 21:21 in the 5k race in San Diego. Both races thus far, Dengler has been Saint Mary's number three runner.

New Look Harriers: On both teams, Saint Mary's will boast a new look as coach Rau welcomes eight newcomers to the trail. The newcomers include: Jade Lewis (Modesto, CA), Tess Grannemann (Hoquiam, WA), Madison Dengler (Ft. Collins, CO), and Alex Bettencourt (Kingsburg, CA) on the women's side. For the men, Rau welcomes Nick Shea (Carmel, CA), Mark Blucher (Salinas, CA), Bradley Alban (Thousand Oaks, CA), and UC Davis transfer Mario Mendoza (Cambria, CA).

A Look at SMC Head Coach Randy Rau : Randy Rau enters his ninth season as the head men's and women's cross country coach. In his first season at the helm he was named WCC Coach of the Year. Under his tutelage, runners have earned four All-WCC selections, a Freshman of the Year honoree and five honorable mention accolades. Individually, both the men and women's school records have been shattered. Members of his men's team have posted 29 of the 30 fastest times in the history of the program. Last season Karrie Hagedorn made the NCAA West Regionals as an individual.

Next Week: Saint Mary's will continue its 2007 campaign by participating in the annual Stanford Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Saturday, September 29 at 5 p.m. from the Stanford Golf Course.