Young women’s XC strides into season

Women’s cross country is ready to kick off a strong and exciting 2014 season after last year’s second-place finish at the Div. III NCAA National Championship. Of the eight-person National team from last season, four were seniors who have graduated and will not be returning to compete this fall, including Kaleigh Kenny ’14 – who earned All-American honors at last year’s National Championship with a third place finish – Shayna Barbash ’14, Brianne Mirecki ’14 and Louisa Lee ’14. Molly Belk ’16, another member of last year’s National team, will be studying abroad this fall.

Though the team will greatly miss the leadership of those members who are not returning this season, the Ephs will count on the guidance of the new captains and other returning members. Alison Smith ’15, who finished 73rd in last year’s National Championship, is one of this year’s captains along with Amelia Ortiz ’15 and Anna Spiers ’15. Hannah Cole ’17 and Lacey Serletti ’16 were the other members of last year’s National squad and will be strong members of this year’s team.

The team will also be welcoming the addition of 13 first-years. The strong rookie group includes Stella Walters ’18 of Charlton, Mass. and Anna Harleen ’18 of Ross, Calif.

The team hopes to continue its goal of peaking for the Little Three Championship, NESCACs and the NCAA Div. III New England Regional Championship, setting up the women to compete in their 22nd consecutive NCAA Div. III National Championship.

“While we’re missing a strong graduated class, their space has been filled with a promising new class,” Spiers said. “We’re really looking forward to our first invitational at Saratoga Springs hosted by RPI this weekend.”

The team competes in its first scored meet this Saturday at the RPI Invite in Saratoga Springs, NY.