The Dons ran to second place last Saturday, Sept. 13 in the West Coast Conference Preview held at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, Calif.
San Francisco had runners near the front of the pack for the majority of the race, and junior Elena Burkard and senior Jana Soethout were the first Dons to cross the 6,000-meter (3.72 mile) course’s finish line. Burkard finished the race in third overall with a time of 21:13.8, and Soethout faded back to a still very impressive sixth place in a field of 96 contestants, crossing the line with a time of 21:20.7.
The next Don that completed the race was senior Kate Jamboretz, who finished in 11th place with a time of 21:36.2. Finishing behind her in 13th was freshman Haley Dorris, who once again impressed the coaches after finishing third at the USF Invitational in her collegiate debut last week.
The race on the Baylands Park course provided a valuable experience for some of the younger runners.
“That’s a learning experience for the freshmen who’ve never run [a] 6,000 [meter event],” head coach Helen Lehman-Winters told usfdons.com.
The men’s team had a strong showing as well, finishing in fifth place overall behind returning redshirt senior Jose Madera.
Unlike the women, the men ran their race spread throughout the pack. Madera, running his first race since 2012 due to a sustained injury, established a lead right out of the gate. He slowed slightly near the end of the race, falling back to fourth place and finishing the 8,000-meter (4.97 mile) course in 24:36.7.
18 seconds after Madera finished his first race in two years, teammate Jarrett Moore followed suit. Moore, a senior, ended the event in ninth place out of 74 total runners with a time of 24:54.2. Behind Moore came a trio of freshmen. Mohamed Aziz, Quentin Purtzer, and Kevin Seaver finished 40th, 42nd, and 66th, respectively. Sophomore Katoa Ahau was the last Don to cross the line, finishing 72nd overall.
With the strong performances that both the men’s and women’s teams have churned out so far this year, their hopes for WCC title contention are very plausible. The teams’ quests will continue on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Stanford Invitational.