The weather at the Speedway Meadow in Golden-Gate Park could not have been any more perfect for a cross country meet. A combination of San Francisco clouds with a lack of gusty winds made for the ideal conditions of a day that was neither too hot nor too cold for a runner.
The Seawolves finished at number seven out of the 12 teams who competed in the 6K run. Unfortunately the team was without their number one runner Kelli Bercier, who was nursing a common cold.
Bercier was previously the top finisher for the Seawolves at the last four meets including her 42nd overall finish out of 81 at the Cal State San Bernadino Invitational. Sophomore Savannah Silacci finished 45th overall with a time of 24:32.9 which is now the record time in her young Seawolf career.
“It was flat and we took two laps which is unusual for a cross country course,” said Silacci. “The hills were pretty tough with lots of sand and soft dirt.”
Returning senior Debra Daubenspeck finished second behind Silacci with a time of 24:53.8. This was also her best time in her cross country career.
“I was really pleased with the way the course was today,” said Veronica Kays.
Not only was it not too windy or wet, but the view past the polo fields was very picturesque for the day. Kays finished third with a time of 25:05.2.
With the CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association) Championship coming up in two weeks the Seawolves have also been keeping a conscientious eye on which schools are shaping up to be the biggest threats when they begin conference play in Chico.
“The schools who have been really making the biggest improvement are CSU Stanislaus, Humbolt, Monterey Bay, and CSU Eastbay,” said Coach Sean Fitzpatrick.
CSU Stanislaus’ Rachel Naranjo, Marina Vorderbruegge, Katie Timmermans and CCAA Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week Dallas Campbell finished in the top ten last Friday. The Warriors as a whole took first in the 6K, and will surely be as dominant as they were in San Francisco.
“I was very pleased with the way our girls competed today,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are a young team with all underclassmen except our three seniors (Daubenspeck, Kays, and Hayley Sa). We’re building on a solid foundation and is shaping up for a strong future.”
Fitzpatrick is no stranger to collegiate cross country after spending two seasons as a player at Santa Rosa Junior College and two seasons at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
The Seawolves are going to continue to prepare themselves for the CCAA Championships, but will first have to tend to the Santa Clara Invitational this Saturday at 11:15 a.m. at Baylands Regional Park. This is located ten miles north of Santa Clara University in Sunnyvale California.
Sillaci, Kays, Abby Utic, Marissa Yang and Brittany Smith all competed in the invitational last year with Sillaci finishing first among the group in 77th place with a time of 19:41.
The experience of already competing in this area should help the young Seawolves have a promising performance.