Bobbie Benegas helped lead the Utes to the last two NCAA Tournaments.
April 27, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY - Former Utah women's soccer player Bobbie Benegas took first place the women's 20-24 age group in last Saturday's Salt Lake City Marathon, her first race ever, in a time of 3:24.41. The Aurora, Colo., native also qualified for the 2005 Boston Marathon.
Benegas, who played forward/midfielder the past four years for the Utes and was second team all-conference in 2003, beat out nearly 140 entrants in her age group. She was the 22nd woman to cross the finish line and finished 149th among the close-to 2,600 participants.
Benegas, who has remained in top physical condition following her college soccer career, trained only eight weeks for the event-the normal preparation period for a marathon is 25 weeks. She ran five to eight miles a day during the week and 10-20 miles a day on weekends. Benegas is eligible to run in the 109th Boston Marathon, which takes place April 18, 2005.
Numerous current and former members of the Utah women's soccer team supported Benegas during Saturday's race. Classmate Amber Brower ran alongside Benegas for the last eight miles, while another classmate, Kari Keddington, joined her for the final two miles. Ali Cerruti, Katie Battazzo, Hailey Marsh, Shauna Bingham and Missy Dennis were on hand to lend vocal encouragement. Benegas was also supported by fiancÚ Tommy Hackenbruck, a senior linebacker on Utah Football team. The couple will be married June 20 in Colorado.
"It was the best experience I have ever had athletically, other then beating BYU in soccer," said Benegas. "It was so much fun. I just wanted to finish in less than four hours, so I'm very happy with my time, and I'm really excited to qualify for the Boston Marathon. When I crossed the finish line they announced my name and that I was a member of the Utah women's soccer team, that was really cool."