Women’s XC finishes 6th at Franklin Park

Saturday saw women’s cross country host the Plansky Invitational at Mt. Greylock High School. The team took second just behind the Coast Guard Academy. Earlier in the month, the women raced in the New England Div. I Collegiate Championship, the largest and most competitive meet of the regular season. The race took place Oct. 9 at Franklin Park in Boston. Williams placed sixth, with Boston College claiming the top finish.

The Plansky Invitational showcased the remarkable depth of this year’s team. As many runners did not race this weekend in preparation for the championship meets, a new scoring group represented the Ephs in the 6k. “Plansky is a low key meet that’s great for all the people competing there as they approach the end of their seasons,” Head Coach Pete Farwell said.

Blair Robinson ’13 took first place overall in a strong time of 24:03, finishing 16 seconds before the next competitor. Grace Babula ’12, Emily McTague ’12, Meredith Sopher ’14 and Shayna Barbash ’14 finished in fifth, eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, to carry the team to a second place finish behind the Coast Guard Academy.

The alumni who returned for the weekend dominated the 5K race in which only members of the College community competed. “[The 5k] is a fun occasion with all the alumni there,” Farwell said. The first female finisher was Lauren Philbrook ’09, who finished amid a group of current men’s runners in 16th place with a time of 18:51. The first team member to cross the line was Amy Levine ’14 in 21:51.

Williams mounted an impressive performance at the New England Championship on Oct. 9. The women came in sixth out of 47 teams in the varsity 5k race and in second place out of the Div. III teams, only behind overall third-place finisher Middlebury.

Annie Dear ’13 and Jen Gossels ’13 led the team, coming in ninth and 10th respectively. The women cruised into the finish with impressive times of 17:57 and 17:58. Dear and Gossels were the second and third Div. III finishers, and the top two finishers from the NESCAC. Dear claimed NESCAC Performer of the Week honors for her results in Boston.

Farwell was impressed with the Ephs’ performances, especially their spectacular shattering of the 18-minute barrier. “We’ve had only a rare few people doing that,” he said.

Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12 finished third for the team, running 18:51 in her first race of the season after competing in both the World and National Triathlon Championships in September. Tri-captain Tina Meade ’11 finished close behind with a personal best time of 18:53, in 60th overall. Chiara Del Piccolo ’14, co-captain KK Durante ’11 and Leslie Blackshear ’14 rounded out the top seven, finishing in 88th, 105th and 111th, respectively.

Rookies contributed to team success in the sub-varsity 5k: Olivia Fay ’14, Emily Barreca ’14, Brianne Mirecki ’14 and Marisa Repka ’14 claimed the top four Williams finishes. Ceci Davis-Hayes ’11, Elleree Erdos ’12 and Natalie Davis ’12 rounded out the 5k team, which placed third.

Saturday’s Little Three Championships at Wesleyan marks the end of the season for some runners, while for others it is the gateway to the postseason, which continues with NESCAC Championships on Oct. 30 and ECAC Championships Nov. 6.