Women’s XC upsets Middlebury for regional title, Nationals berth

Seven Ephs exchanged high fives after crossing the finish line at the Div. III NCAA Regional Championships in Gorham, Maine, last Saturday. Williams won the meet with 44 points, ahead of Middlebury with 57 points and MIT with 127 points. The Ephs had finished behind the Panthers all season until Regionals, when the Ephs proved that they are peaking at the right time. The victory automatically qualified Williams for the Div. III NCAA Championships. The seven runners, along with a massive cheering squad, will head to Hannover, Ind., this weekend to show teams from across the nation what they are capable of.

Kaleigh Kenny ’14 continued her phenomenal season, winning the entire meet by eight seconds in a time of 21:02.18. “Kaleigh [Kenny] was the epitome of a beautiful relaxed stride, in control, ready to fend off any contenders,” Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said. “Just a start-to-finish championship run.” Supporting Kenny was an incredibly strong pack consisting of Molly Belk ’16, who was seventh overall in 21:30.83; Hannah Cole ’17, who set a personal best by over a minute, finishing eighth overall in 21:33.80; and Shayna Barbash ’14 in 10th place in a strong time of 21:38.70. “Shayna [Barbash], Molly [Belk] and Hannah [Cole] worked together throughout, drawing energy from each other,” Farwell said.

Co-captain Brianne Mirecki ’14 rounded out the scorers for Williams finishing 18th in 21:49.16. Alison Smith ’15 and Lacey Serletti ’16 continued the trend of powerful races from Williams runners, placing 33rd in 22:14.42 and 41st in 22:22.29, respectively. “Brianne [Mirecki] paced perfectly, built up the third mile and forged a long building kick to the finish to improve her best for the year by 25 seconds and notch a vital high-placing finish as our fifth and final scorer,” said Farwell.

The women will race this Saturday at the NCAA Div. III National Championship meet in Hannover, Ind.

At the conclusion of Nationals, the women will graduate nine seniors, including Kenny, Mirecki and co-captain Louisa Lee ’14.