Despite a challenging course and tough competition, women’s cross country made a solid showing at the NESCAC Championships, finishing second overall. Middlebury College won the race with 44 points while Williams finished with 72 points. The race was held at Wickam Park in Hartford, Connecticut.
Leading the way for Williams this week was tri-captain Meg Randall ’99, finishing second in 18:42. She ran with the front pack from beginning to end and won the battle for second, outkicking Tufts’ Cynthia Manning at the line. The next Williams finishers through the chute were Lauren Krisko ’00, sixteenth, Lauren Wiener ’01, seventeenth, Deb Frisone ’00, eighteenth and Tara Crowley ’00, nineteenth. Rounding out the Williams top seven were Courtney Bennigson ’01, twenty-third, and Kate Dreher ’99, twenty-ninth.
The individual race was won by Amherst’s freshman phenom Katie Scangos in 18:36.
Despite a respectable second place showing, the team was hoping to successfully defend their title from last year. However, Middlebury packed together tightly and finished its top five runners in places six, eight, nine, ten and eleven.
“Middlebury had a great race, no question about it. They raced smart, went out conservatively, and ran down other competitors as a pack,” said Krisko, “We’re disappointed, yes, but we realize that we will get another shot at them at Division III New Englands”.
The race course was a combination of gradual uphills on the road as well as long flat portions on exposed fields. The race finished on a 200-300-meter uphill section.
“I think that the front group of our runners went out incredibly fast in the first mile. Middlebury was more conservative in that respect. Middlebury picked most runners off in the second half of the race,” Head Coach Kristen Morwick said after the race.
“I think that we learned that not everyone on the team can have an incredible race on the same day. We definitely learned some things about ourselves with this race, but we try not to dwell on disappointments, but rather move on to the next challenge,” said Randall.
After the race, the Williams team learned that Middlebury had not raced for two weeks prior to NESCAC’s, while Williams had. The Middlebury team also tapered for this meet while Williams did not.
“I don’t know if the fact that they had been resting made a difference. They are a great team. But so are we. We have next weekend off and we are looking forward to challenging them at the Division III New England Qualifier,” said Randall.
Next week, the second seven runners will run at the ECAC Championships at Tufts while the top seven runners have the week off. In two weeks, the top seven will race in the Division III NCAA New England Qualifier at Babson College.