Women’s CC frolics at home course

Mud was aplenty at Saturday’s Fall Foliage Frolic, but neither the ankle-deep mud nor the absence of four top runners could stop the women’s cross-country team from maintaining its undefeated record. Running the home course at Mount Greylock High School, the Ephs defeated SUNY Plattsburgh and Westfield State with an impressive score of 25-48-146.

Rebecca Atkinson ’00 won with a time of 20:03 after battling Plattsburgh’s top runner throughout most of the five-kilometer race. Sandra DiPillo ’01, in only her second race of the season, was the next Williams woman to cross the line, finishing in fourth place with a time of 20:45. Hardly an opponent could squeeze herself between the top Ephwomen from there, as Melody Scheefer ’03 (20:56; fifth), Katie Sharff ’02 (21:10; seventh), Co-captain Deborah Frisone ’00 (21:16; eighth), Joey Shapiro ’01 (21:21; ninth) and Elizabeth Roller ’01 (21:26, 10th), rounded off the team’s leading seven. Followed closely by two first-year Ephs, Maywa Montenegro ’01 finished 12th in 21:34. Claire Magat ’03 (21:39) and Julia Bensen ’03 (21:54) finished 13th and 14th, respectively. Co-captain Lauren Krisko ’00 ran strongly in her first race of the season, finishing 16th in 22:08.

“It was definitely a slow course made worse with mud, but our women ran a great race,” said Coach Kristen Morwick. “They did an excellent job of moving up and winning despite the fact that top runners Jonnifer Vasse ’02, Courtney Bennigson ’01, Lauren Wiener ’01 and Co-captain Tara Crowley ’00 took the weekend off to rest their race-battered legs.”

Fortunately, the sun shone its way through the clouds for the race on Saturday afternoon, but the morning’s rain left the trails and grass paths swallowing the runners’ shoes. “The mud made the race slow, but fun,” commented Frisone, whose legs, like the legs of each of the cross-country running women, resembled mudflaps on the back of a dirty pickup truck.

“We had an awesome race,” beamed Krisko. “It’s wonderful to have Sandra back and Rebecca taking first place.”

The Williams women proved their pack-running ability not only in Saturday’s varsity race, but also in the Frolic’s open race for junior varsity and alumni runners.

First-year Anastasia Gilman crossed the finish line in 23:50, followed by Katy Austell ’03 (23:58) and Erin Davies ’00 (24:08). Alumni Amy McDonald ’99 and Stephanie Sewell ’99 finished in 24:22 and 24:31, respectively.

The Ephwomen enter the championship season this Friday as they travel to Boston to compete in the Division I New England Championships.