MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's men's and women's cross country team return to action this weekend, traveling to Palo Alto, Calif. to participate in the Stanford Invitational hosted by Stanford. The men's 8K race starts 10:50 a.m. with the women's 6K race beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Gaels will have a full squad for this weekend and are fresh coming off their bye week last weekend.
Last season, the Gaels had a strong outing at the Stanford Invitational, the women finished 16th out of 24 teams with former runner Rosie Smith breaking the SMC record in the 6K finishing with a time of 21:45. The men finished 23 out of 26 teams but had one of their best team times in a major race in several years.
Looking to continue their hot start is redshirt sophomore Rajpaul Pannu on the men's side, and freshman Cristina Garcia on the women's side. But associate head coach Mark Carberry has been quick to point out how excited the coaching staff is with junior Jordan Lerma's progress this season, as well as sophomore Alicia Doohan's performance.
Saint Mary's will send a full squad this week, fresh off their bye week last week, also back is redshirt senior Mark Blucher who made his 2011 debut two weeks ago at the Hornet Jamboree. Blucher has been battling injuries for the last year and a half and now looks to help lead the Gaels against some tough competition this weekend.
This weekend's race holds special significance because it will also be the site of the NCAA Western Regional Championship on Saturday, November 12, so it will give the teams a chance to familiarize themselves with the Stanford Golf Course.
For fans looking for up to the minute updates for both the men's and women's cross country teams be sure to follow the Gaels cross country on twitter @SMCXC. Also be sure to follow all of the Gaels team's @smcgaels.