Women’s cross country flies to first-place finish in Montreal

Emily Sundquist '18 and Anna Harleen '18 take to the course for another season in the Purple Valley.
Emily Sundquist ’18 and Anna Harleen ’18 take to the course for another season in the Purple Valley.

Women’s cross country opened its season last weekend with a win at the 2015 McGill Martlet Open in Montreal, Canada. Hosting team McGill came in second place with 49 points, and in third place was the cross country club of the University of Montreal (Club UdeM) with 98 points. The overcast and rainy conditions rendered the Mount Royal Park slippery and muddy all weekend long. However, this did not stop the women from working together and excelling on the 4k course.

Overall, the women raced in closely spaced clumps, with purple-and-yellow uniforms dominating the first 20 spots in the race results. The win was in a large part thanks to a fourth through sixth-place sweep. In first place for the Ephs was co-captain Lacey Serletti ’16, fourth overall in 15:03.

Second for the team and in fifth place was Hannah Cole ’17 in 15:15. Serletti and Cole raced side by side at the head of the pack and pulled the team with them in a tactical race. In sixth place was Victoria Kingham ’18, who crossed the line in 15:29. The women’s success was certainly not defined by their top three finishers alone, as the top eight Williams women all crossed the line within 50 seconds of each other. The sweep of Ephs was briefly broken by Rébecca Beaumont of Club UdeM, only to give way to five more consecutive Williams runners in a small sea of white, purple and gold. Laney Teaford ’17 and Anna Harleen ’18 raced neck and neck to the finish line in eighth and ninth place, respectively. They came across simultaneously to each take a time of 15:35.

Rebecca Delacruz-Gunderson ’18 was 10th overall in 15:38, rounding out the scorers for the Ephs. Michelle Buncke ’17 was close behind her, taking the course in 15:41 while Stella Worters ’18 finished 12th in 15:49.

Phacelia Cramer ’19, who finished in 16:23 and Ann Johnston ’19, who finished in 16:42 were two first-years who had strong openings to their collegiate cross country careers. The two runner flew around the course  to finish in 21st and 29th place, respectively.

While not counting towards team rankings, the short 4k course at McGill has traditionally served as a good workout to start the season off on the right foot.

“Overall, the team performed very well in Montreal,” Serletti said. “Everyone executed the race plan, starting conservatively and moving up as the race progressed, and packed up well.”

Next up for the Ephs is the Purple Valley Classic, which they will host on Sept. 26. If history is any indication, the women will perform masterfully in this meet. Three current sophomores (Harleen, Delacruz-Gunderson and Emily Sundquist ’18) rounded out the top three in the Frosh/Junior Varsity meet last year with times of 19:17.5, 19:24.8 and 19:32.3, respectively. The Friday thereafter, the women will head down to Pennsylvania to compete in the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University. Looking ahead, the team will compete in the Westfield State Invitational on Oct. 10 during the College’s reading period and, the next Friday, in Little Threes.

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