San Francisco, CA:
Menlo's men's and women's cross country team kicked off their 2012 season this past Saturday, taking part in the University of San Francisco Invite at Golden Gate Park. The year's opening competition featured a number of big-time programs, most notably NCAA Division I's Stanford, Cal, San Jose State, USF, and Santa Clara. The Oaks held their own even with the stellar field, with sophomore Haley Heryford earning Menlo's top billing on the women's side, and Chris Burnett (unattached) doing the same on the men's side.
"I'm proud of both Haley and Chris," said Oaks Head Coach Sean Weeks. "The two went up against a strong group of competitors, but were able to prove themselves in earning very nice finishes."
Heryford finished in 130th out of 182 total runners, posting a time of 21:39 in the 5k, while Burnett took home a 117th place mark out of 143 possible runners with a time of 30:54 in the 8k.
As far as the team as a whole is concerned, Coach Weeks was enthusiastic about the way his runners performed. "Overall I was impressed with the team," remarked Weeks. "It can be intimidating going up against the likes of Stanford, Cal, and San Jose State, but we were up for the challenge and set a good standard for our first competition of the year."
Sophomore Jessica Marso (unattached) with a time of 21:45 finished 132nd overall, and 2nd amongst the Lady Oaks. Senior Jessica Wiese ended the day third on the team and 134th overall with a mark of 21:48.
Shifting over to the men's side, Richie Nole ended the afternoon in as the squad's second best runner, and 137th overall, with a finishing time of 37:14, trailing only Burnett's aforementioned 30:54.
The Oaks will take a week off before their next competition, set to take place Saturday, September 15th at Mills College. Start time is slated for 10:00am.