Cross country teams rev up with fresh talent

Women’s cross country concluded last season on a strong note with a fifth-place NCAA result, a second place finish in both ECACs and NESCACs and first place in the Little Three Championship. The men also finished well, winning ECACs and the Little Three and coming in second in the NESCAC. Both teams look forward to building on their successes this fall. 

The women graduated five seniors, two of whom competed in the top seven, which will definitely shift the dynamic of the team. Head Coach Peter Farwell noted the loss of his senior captains: K. K. Durante ’11, Tina Meade ’11 and Meghan Shea ’11, who “were vital to the team’s success because of their great leadership ability,” Farwell said.

The team boasts 14 rookies this fall. Farwell has been impressed with their attitude and running abilities so far. “The [first-years] are a really strong group with good talent and great spirit,” Farwell said. He also noted that six or seven of the rookies had the potential to get into the top seven and four or five more in the second seven once the season gets into swing. However, Farwell said that the line-up will not be set for a while longer.

The team is looking forward to competing with a well-rounded roster. “Coming into the season, I think our team’s strength is really its depth,” said co-captain Elleree Erdos ’12. “Most of last year’s ‘second seven’ are returning and look stronger than ever. Add to that a talented class of fourteen first-years and several others who have improved immensely over the summer, and we have an extremely solid pack of frontrunners. More than anything though, I think the team’s excitement and positive outlook thus far this fall is going to continue to drive the season toward success.”

The men graduated eight seniors, although none of these seniors competed in the top seven due to illness and injuries throughout the 2010 season. “In the end the graduated seniors weren’t in the scoring group last year, so in some ways we missed them more last year than we do this year,” Farwell said.

The men will only add seven rookies this season, one of the smallest contingents in recent memory, according to Farwell. “Every one of them is talented and a good runner, and a few of them are definitely looking to be in the top seven,” Farwell said.

The men have a more established team than the women, as they will rely on far fewer rookies, but both teams appear very strong. Farwell has high hopes for the upcoming season. “Of course we’d like to come out on top, especially at the Little Three,” Farwell said. He noted, however, that the NESCAC will be very strong this year, and Williams will have an especially tough time contending with the squad from Middlebury.

Co-captains Anthony Raduazo ’12 and Mark Springel ’12 will lead the men. “I think we have as talented a squad as we have ever had,” Raduazo said.

“One of the goals that the team captains and coaches have established is really great team spirit. The co-ed team works really well together … It is one of the things that really makes us thrive,” Farwell said. He is highly impressed with his athletes’ ability to work extremely hard of their own initiative. “[This group is] very self-driven; these kids want to do well,” he said.

The team will travel to Montreal to open its season at the McGill Invitational this Saturday and Sunday.