Women’s cross country commenced its official competitive season with a 4k race at the McGill Marlet Open in Montreal last weekend. The women placed second out of 21 scoring teams, scoring 42 points. The score put them just behind first place Western Ontario, who finished the meet with 21 points in first.
Kaleigh Kenny ’14 led the way for the women, placing second overall in a time of 14:34. Kenny outpaced a Laval runner by one second with a gutsy finish down one of the course’s many steep hills. Shayna Barbash ’14 was the second scorer for Williams, placing sixth with a time of 14:43. Hannah Cole ’17 and Lacey Serletti ’16 made their debuts with strong performances, finishing eighth and 12th, respectively.
Co-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 also scored for the Ephs with a hard-earned 14th place. Alison Smith ’15 and Amelia Ortiz ’15 rounded out the top seven with strong performances. Smith placed 20th, and Ortiz placed 35th.
Former high school teammates Maggie Peard ’17 and Emma Zehner ’17 worked together in their first college meet to earn 40th and 41st places, respectively.
Meg Richardson ’16, Talia Calnek-Sugin ’15 and co-captain Louisa Lee ’14 formed the next pack. Lee and Calnek-Sugin were recovering from injuries prior to the start of the cross country season, and the team is thrilled to have them healthy and strong again. Caroline Miller ’14 and Sam Avila ’16 also had standout performances.
“We had great races all the way down the line,” Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said. “We saw some of our people discovering new aspects of their running and putting out speed we’d never seen before. This meet was a good stepping stone. Western Ontario is a strong team, and the fact that we gave them a battle bodes well for us.”
It was a great first meet in a low pressure enironment, especially for our freshmen,” Mirecki said. “Everyone put in a good effort and had fun, and it was exciting to see so much improvement in times over our results on this course two years ago.”
The Ephs will take a break from competition next weekend and will return for their first home meet, the Purple Valley Invitational, on Sept. 28. This will be the women’s first encounter this season with NESCAC rivals Amherst and Colby as well as MIT and other strong New England teams.