Sports briefs: men’s rugby and women’s cross country

Men’s Rugby

“These past two weekends have shown one thing,” reflected WRFC President Joe Sensenbrenner ’00 on Saturday. “Rugby is about smarts and fitness, and we’ve got truckloads of both.”

Sensenbrenner’s confidence appears to be based solidly in fact. The Williams Rugby Football Committee has jumped to a 2-0 start as the Division I Yale “Blue Donkeys” fell victim to the quick thinking and athleticism of the “White Dawgs.”

Wittenmeir, Lewis, Paul Bethe ’00 and Chidozie Alozie ’01 all scored exciting tries.

Ignoring nay-sayers and pundits who have long claimed that the team is unmotivated and out of shape, the Williams scrum rucked and mauled with Swiss precision. Sensenbrenner and freshman sensation Tom Kramer were scrummy standouts against the befuddled Yale pack. Score 35-13.

Exhibiting determination, if little else, the “Blue Donkey” A-side returned to take on the Williams B-side in an abbreviated contest. In their first game ever, the twenty-five man strong WRFC rookie class of 1999 showed its athletic ability.

Led by veteran Asa Johnson ’02, and the ferocious play of Justin Reliford ’03, the B-pack made sure its line got the ball at every available opportunity. Once out to the line, sophomore legend Paul Francis ’02 smoked by the Yale defenders to score the lone Williams try of the game. Although the scoreboard showed a loss, the “Killer-B’s” won an unquestionable moral victory over Yale by a score 10-5.

—By Todd Stiefler

Women’s Cross Country

The Williams women’s cross country team began its New England D-3 title defense Saturday by winning the five-team McGill invitational at Mt. Royal Park in Canada.

Five Williams runners finished in the top 15, with three women in the top 10, earning the Ephwomen a team score of 44, more than 30 places better than runner-up SUNY Plattsburgh. The final teams scores were: Williams (44), SUNY Plattsburgh (77), Western Ontario (78), Queen’s (83) and McGill (112).

An unattached runner, Crystal Garrett, won the four-kilometer race in a time of 14:07. The women from Williamstown were led by Jonnifer Vasse ’02 who finished 5th in 14:47. Rebecca Atkinson ’00 crossed the line only a second after her teammate, taking 6th place with a time of 14:48. Lauren Weiner ’01 rounded out the Williams presence in the top 10, finishing 8th in 14:56.

Two first year athletes completed the top five: Melody Scheefer took 12th in 15:05 and her classmate Julie Shapiro finished 13th in 15:11. The Williams women ran well as a team, with the top five runners finishing over a 24-second span.

“It was a really, really good effort from the women today, I was very pleased,” said head coach Kristen Morwick. Coach Morwick also noted that the top eight runners, three of who were freshmen, finished within one minute of each other.

Next weekend, the women’s team will play host to the Williams Invitational at the Mount Greylock High School campus. The race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25 at noon. begin at noon.

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