Last weekend, women’s cross country came away with a victory at the historic Purple Valley Classic. The women, ranked No. 6 in NCAA Div. III rankings, led a diverse field of 17 teams, one traveling from as far as University of Texas at Tyler, to win with a score of 39 points. In second place was No. 7 Middlebury with 66 points and in third place was MIT, currently ranked No. 2, with 69 points. In fourth place was SUNY Geneseo with 75 points, and in fifth place was Amherst with 117 points.
The varsity 6k race was run on the time-tested course at Mount Greylock Regional High School. The conditions were ideal for racing and the course was bone-dry, allowing the field of 198 women to perform unimpeded. Overall, the top five runners for Williams were separated only by a minute, highlighting the depth of the team.
The individual winner of the race was tri-captain Lacey Serletti ’16, with a time of 21:53.6, besting her time from last year’s Classic by nearly a minute while making it look easy. Serletti was selected NESCAC performer of the week for her efforts, as well as Div. III Women’s National Athlete of the Week for Cross Country. In second place overall was Abigail Nadler of Middlebury with a time of 22:00.6, and in third place was Maryann Gong of MIT in 22:06.6.
Victoria Kingham ’18 and Lizzie Lacy of Amherst were fourth in 22:13.7 and fifth in 22:17.1, respectively. Hannah Cole ’18 was third for the Ephs and sixth overall, finishing in 22:19.
Fourth for the Ephs and 10th overall was Anna Harleen ’18, who raced patiently and passed about 10 runners in the final mile to finish with a time of 22:33.1. Emily Sundquist ’18 and Michelle Buncke ’17 raced together, to finish in 18th and 19th, respectively. Tri-captain Meg Richardson ’16 finished in 23:14.7 and Rebecca Delacruz-Gunderson ’18 finished in 23:26.0 to round out the top eight for the Ephs.
“The races went well,” Serletti said. “We had women in both the 5k and the 6k, and in both races they really moved up well, getting aggressive and picking people off. The team’s performance in the 6k was especially exciting. I don’t think we really expected to finish as well as we did.”
The JV women won the co-ed 5k race as well earlier that day with a score of 25. The top three finishers of the race were Michelle Lujan of Saint Rose in 19:46.4, and Elowyn Pfeiffer ’18 in 20:12.3 and Tsaina Mahlen ’17 in 20:15.1, finishing in second and third, respectively. Pfeiffer and Mahlen are Nordic skiers at the College.
Phacelia Cramer ’19 who finished in 20:23.2 was the first cross country team member for Williams to cross the line in fifth place, leading a pack of five more Ephs finishing consecutively. In order of finishing, she was followed by Maggie Peard ’17 in 20:27.2, Yvonne Bungei ’17 in 20:29.7, Borah Lim ’17 in 20:31.2, Emily Harris ’19 in 20:35.3 and Olivia Goodheart ’19 in 20:58.4.
This weekend, 15 runners each from the men and women’s teams will head to Lehigh, Penn., to compete at the Paul Short invitational.