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Cross Country Heads To 34th Annual Stanford Invitational

Sept. 28, 2007

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This Week In Cross Country: The Saint Mary's cross country team will compete in the 34th annual Stanford Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Saturday, September 29 at 4:15 from the Stanford Golf Course.

The Competition: Student-athletes representing over 45 teams will compete in the collegiate races. The men will compete at 8,000 meters on the long course, while the women will race 6,000 meters. Also, both men and women will compete at 4,000 meters on the short course. Defending back-to-back national champion and top-ranked Stanford highlights the women's collegiate fields. The 22nd ranked Baylor team will challenge the Cardinal with a full squad in the 6,000 meter race. Cross-bay rival California will also race squads in both the 6,000 and 4,000 meters. The 23rd ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team, who already collected two team victories this season, will challenge Stanford in the 8,000 meters. Pac-10 foe University of Arizona will also look to challenge the Cardinal.

Last Week Recap: The Saint Mary's cross country team continued its 2007 campaign with some quick times on the shortened course at the Big Wave Invitational. Juniors Karrie Hagedorn and Mario Mendoza paced the Gael harriers once again. Hagedorn ran a 4k time of 15:23 while Mendoza clocked a 5k time of 16:48.

Saint Mary's Nears Halfway Point: The Saint Mary's cross country team now has three meets under their belt. Different distances have benefited the Gaels training regimen as last week served as a speed workout. The Gaels opened the season with a 3rd place finish in both the men and women's races at the Chico Invitational. At the Aztec Invitational the men finished 12th while the women locked down 13th. Last week the men finished 4th and the women placed 6th.

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 San Francisco State Invitational. The invite is slated for Saturday, October 6 at 8:15 a.m. at Golden Gate Park.