October 13, 2012
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It was a fantastic day for The Master’s College men’s cross country team at the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara University at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. “Today we put together a race indicative of how good we actually are,” said Coach Zach Schroeder, “and I believe we can be better still.” It was an exciting race to watch as The Master’s men scored five runners under 25 minutes, 40 seconds on the fast 8k course. “This is probably one of my favorite races we’ve had as a program,” Schroeder commented. “We executed exactly as planned; every single one of my guys did precisely what we talked about before the race and every single one of them set a new personal record. I love what I saw from my men today.”
Leading the way with another spectacular performance was TMC’s John Gilbertson (Saugus, CA), this time breaking not only his own personal and school record, but the Baylands Park course record as well. Winning the race in a phenomenal time of 23:40, it’s looking likely for the senior to remain undefeated this season. Coming off a huge win at the Stanford Cross Country Invitational two weeks ago, this is the second NCAA Division One race in a row won by Gilbertson and his fourth of the year.
As planned, David Eller (Los Angeles, CA) stepped up and filled the No. 2 for the squad in the absence of teammate Anthony Pizzo, running a huge personal best of 25:10. Taking almost a minute off his previous 8k best, the senior will look to dip under 25 minutes in his next outing.
Running more conservatively through the first few miles, the Mustangs’ Nos. 3-5 stuck together throughout the race in what proved to be the best demonstration of pack running in the history of the program. “Never before have we had our 3-5 run as fast as what we saw today,” Schroeder said. Finishing third for the Mustangs was John Hurd (Fairview, PA), continuing a breakout sophomore campaign. Closing the gap on teammate Eller, Hurd finished just seven seconds back in 25:17.
Rounding out the scoring for the Mustangs was senior Camden McAlister (Saugus, CA) in 25:35, followed closely by junior Matthew Crichton (Mission Viejo, CA) in 25:38. Slotted in spots six and seven for TMC were freshmen Ryan Freeman (Highland, CA) and Daniel Eller (Los Angeles CA), both running their best collegiate races thus far with times of 26:38 and 26:47, respectively.
The Mustangs now look to their next competition just a week away at the West Coast Jamboree hosted by Biola at Irvine Regional Park on October 20th. The race will serve as a championship preview for the GSAC Championship meet two weeks later, where the TMC men plan on winning a “three-peat” conference title.