Women’s cross country emerged as the unquestionable victors of the 2015 NESCAC Cross Country Championships last Saturday. The race was held at Wesleyan. The women came in first place with a score of 30 points, ahead of second-place Tufts with 66 points and third-place Middlebury with 92 points.
Though it had rained a few days prior to the race, Wesleyan’s home course had dried out and proved to be the perfect consistency to support dozens of spiked feet traversing the women’s 6k. Right from the gun, a few of Williams’ top runners got into great positions that set them up for high finishes. Though speedy first-years Lizzie Lacy of Amherst, who finished in 21:48.60, and Abigail Nadler of Middlebury in 21:54.60, were the top individual finishers. Williams swept the third- through fifth-place spots to help ensure a team victory.
The top finisher for Williams was tri-captain Lacey Serletti ’16, who finished in third place with a time of 21:56.30. Serletti continuously pushed the pace, taking the lead with about 3k to go and pulling Hannah Cole ’17 and Victoria Kingham ’18 up with her, running a calculated race worthy of the three seasons of championship racing she already had under her belt. Cole came barreling after Serletti for a fourth-place finish in 21:59.60. Kingham continued her strong season by finishing in fifth place with a time of 22:05.10.
After a few seconds’ pause, the wild cheers at the finish welcomed the dynamic duo of Anna Harleen ’18, who finished in 22:09:00, and Emily Sundquist ’17, in 22:15:90, over the line for eighth and 10th place. The pair executed their race plan perfectly, running together until the end.
Rebecca Delacruz-Gunderson ’18 was the sixth and final Williams runner to break into the top 14 race finishers to earn all-NESCAC honors. She came in 14th place with a time of 22:29.00.
Seventh for the Ephs and 19th overall was Michelle Buncke ’17, in 22:43.80. Tri-captain Meg Richardson ’16 was close behind in 22:48.20.
The remaining competitors for the women included Stella Worters ’18 in 23:06.40, Emma Zehner ’17 in 23:53.40, Maggie Peard ’17 in 24:07.00 and Laney Teaford ’17 in 24:07.50.
The top squad has only one hurdle left to clear before hopefully making the trip to the NCAA Div. III Championships in Oshkosh, Wisc. NCAA Div. III Regionals will be held on Nov. 14 at Conn. College.
“The women have put together some amazing workouts, stride for stride for stride in packs, and are racing with confidence and patience, putting each piece of the package to be in peak form in the three championships ahead,” Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said.
This weekend, however, a few of the women who raced at NESCACs will again return as part of the second seven to race at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships to be held on the women’s home course at Mount Greylock Regional High School.