Women’s X-Country wins Little Three

On Saturday October 21, the women’s cross-country team reclaimed their Little Three title against Amherst and Wesleyan at Amherst. Last year, their twelve-year winning streak was broken by a close loss to Amherst and, according to Coach Pete Farwell, “it was a major accomplishment to win so convincingly [this year].”

The Ephwomen were up against good competition, Amherst being ranked 17th in NCAA division III nationally.

The women took the victory by a large margin, scoring only 19 points. Second place went to Amherst and third to Wesleyan. The course was extremely wet and mudding, leading to slow times all around the board.

Leading the Eph pack and winning the race was senior co-captain Joey Shapiro ’01 in a time of 19:30. Second and third also went to the Ephs as Julia Bensen ’03 finished in 19:39, followed by co-captain Courtney Bensen ‘01in 19:98. Also scoring were Katie Sharff ’01 in 20:02 for 5th place and Maya Kessler ’04 in 20:16 for 8th place. Elizabeth Roller ’01 also ran a great race for the Ephs.

According to Coach Farwell, “the women’s goal this week was to train hard and still pull off a victory. Highlight performances by Joey, Julia, and Courtney made the meet a major success. Joey and Julia are in the middle of breakthrough seasons, and Courtney is running strong as always. Katie Sharff is also making a move up.”

Sharff placed second last week at the Westfield Invitational, and also out kicked two Amherst girls this Saturday for 5th place. Coach Farwell was also pleased at the 46-second one through five split. The top five appear to have created a great pack that should serve them well through the national meet.

The Ephwomen also had a great performance last weekend at Division I New Englands, a meet featuring all of the top New England teams from every division. They finished 8th out of 36, proving they can be competitive against all of the New England schools. Co-captain Joey Shapiro ‘01 had a phenomenal race, placing 24th in 18:31, earning a spot on the All New England team. Also running well was Julia Bensen ’02 in 18:52, placing 40th. The top five also consisted of Courtney Bensen in 19:05, Sandra DiPillo ’04 in 19:07, and Kessler in 19:25.

Next week, the Ephs look forward to good competition at NESCAC Tournament where nine of the top 12 teams are nationally ranked. Coach Farwell hopes that “the continued hard work of the whole team, as well as the return of Lauren Wiener ’01after an injury should help us continue out tradition as a strong competitor, both in New England and nationally.”

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