Women’s XC takes 2nd at New Englands, looks ahead to Nat’ls

Women’s cross country took second behind national No. 1 MIT at Div. III New Englands last Saturday.

Westfield State’s Stanley Park provided a swift venue for the race on an unseasonably warm day. Keri Lambert of Amherst cruised expectedly to the individual victory: Out front all the way, she finished in 20:48, 19 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. The Ephs were close on the first finishers’ heels: Kaleigh Kenny ’14 and Adrienne Strait ’15 kicked in for third in 21:29 and a fourth-place time of 21:38, respectively. The women’s performances were both impressive enough to earn them first-team regional honors.

Co-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 placed 17th in 22:09 and was closely followed by Louisa Lee ’14, who posted an 18th-place finish in 22:12. Lee had a breakthrough performance, placing in the team’s top seven for the first time. Shayna Barbash ’14 rounded out the team’s scoring members in 33rd with a 22:25-minute race. All five of the team scorers earned all-region honors by placing in the top 35 of finishing racers. Amelia Ortiz ’15 and Alison Smith ’15 completed the Ephs’ racing squad, both finishing solid races in 22:35 and 22:40 for 38th and 44th place, respectively.

Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 was pleased with the team’s racing and overall finish at New Englands. “This is one more big step, of millions made collectively by the team over their summer and fall training, towards having our best race at the highest level,” Farwell said. “This team is in peak form and ready to have a fast, fun race on Saturday.”

MIT and Williams now advance as automatic qualifiers to Div. III Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind., this Saturday at 11a.m. Williams will also face off against conference rivals Middlebury, Bates and Amherst at Indiana. The three NESCAC teams placed third, fourth and fifth in the region, respectively, and as such have received at-large bids to Div. III Nationals. This weekend’s race will conclude the Ephs’ season.

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