Cross Country has success at preview of nationals course

Despite tough competition from the top Division III schools in the nation, women’s cross country overcame the odds to take second place at the Dickinson Invitational at Dickinson College of Pennsylvania while the rest of their teammates battled the mud puddles at the Albany Invitational.

The primary purpose of the lengthy trip to Dickinson was to give the team an opportunity to run on the course where the Division III National Championships will be held in late November in hopes that they will be competing there.

St. Olaf University of Minnesota took first place with 60 points, Williams, second with 87 points, SUNY Plattsburgh, third with 130, and SUNY Cortland, fourth with 187. There were a total of 37 teams with 367 athletes competing.

Courtney Bennigson ’01, who finished fifth in 19:08, led the Eph squad. Following closely on her heels were Lauren Krisko ’00, fifteenth in 19:21, and Lauren Wiener ’01, seventeenth in 19:23. Rounding out the top seven were tri-captain Meg Randall ’99, twenty-first in 19:27, Tara Crowley ’00, twenty-ninth in 19:37, Deb Frisone ’00, thirty-third in 19:43, and Sandra DiPillo ’01, thirty-seventh in 19:48.“I think that most of us were pleased with this race, but more importantly about the course,” Randall said.

The course is relatively flat with few rolling hills. It encircles a high school then moves into a wooded area. “The footing is very good especially compared to the rutted fields that the Williams team practices on. “There are hills, but they are not like the treacherous hills we practice on around Mt. Hope,” Randall said.

“As far as the competition goes, I think this was a good mental boost for the team because we know that we have not peaked yet we still ran well,” said Krisko.

The other half of the team went to the Albany Invitational at the University of Albany. The team was looking forward to running a race on another relatively flat course. However, pounding rain dispelled hopes for incredibly fast times. Rain continued all morning and afternoon, picking up just in time for the varsity women’s race.

“It didn’t even seem like a real race but rather a puddle hopping adventure,” tri-captain Stephanie Sewell ’99 said. “Some of the puddles came up to mid calf.” The JV team was lead by Elizabeth Roller ’01 who was followed closely by teammates Megan Tierney ’01 and Fran Monga ’99.

Inspired by their teammates strong finishes in the first race, the women racing in the varsity race stepped up to the line, ready to run despite the rain. Once the gun went off, the Ephwomen braved any mud and lake-sized puddles that came their way. Top Williams finishers were Maywa Montenegro ’01, forty-seventh, Davis Teichgraeber ’99, forty-eighth, Emily Small ’00, fifth-eighth, Kate Dreher ’99, fifty-ninth, and Marie Glancey ’99, sixty-second.

Next week , all of the women travel to Boston for the All-New England Meet at Franklin Park.