“The meet went very well for us. The women’s win was a testament to the depth and the strength of the program, and solidified what we have been striving for all season-to be one of the deepest teams in the region,” said Head Coach Erik Nedeau. “The men had a great day and turned in their best times of the season, so it was nice to see them finish their season on such high notes.”
The women placed four of their runners in the top-17 spots. Tropiano crossed the finish line in eighth place, with a time of 22:52, just 54 seconds shy of race winner Meg Young from Springfield College. Ray was right behind in 10th place with a time of 23:01, and Mortimer finished just seven seconds later in 14th place. Senior co-captain Margaret Davis and rookie Liz Dalton ’09 took 17th and 22nd place, respectively, while sophomores Katie Moravec and Lucy Sheehan rounded out the varsity lineup.
The team squeaked ahead of Tufts with 71 points-just two points shy of the Jumbos’ score of 73. Each runner played a crucial part in the team’s victory. Of the five runners who scored, four came in one spot ahead of a Jumbo harrier-Tropiano, Ray, Mortimer and Davis. Archrival Williams College finished the race in third place.
“Beating Williams is always sweet, but in this case we defeated them at their own strength, showing more depth than they could muster,” said Richard Wilson ’07.
The race was an opportunity for less-experienced runners on the team to shine, and the excellent results that emerged demonstrate the depth of the team which bodes well for future seasons. Nedeau was especially impressed with Tropiano’s race. “She went out hard, really pushed the middle portion of the race and simply refused to let down over the last mile,” he said. “That just set the tone for the other girls who were finishing behind her.” Meanwhile, after struggling to find rhythms in their first-year campaigns, Ray and Mortimer are finally realizing their potential and posting consistently good times.
After their lackluster performance in the NESCAC Championships at Wesleyan University, the men’s team came back strongly on Saturday, even without their strongest runners.
“The race went out hard, but Boley managed to hang on and drop a huge [personal record], as did everyone who ran,” said Wilson. Boley posted a 15th-place showing, completing the race in 26:19, one minute after the race winner. Junior Sam Hayman and rookie Peter Foote crossed the line together in 26:57 and finished in 46th and 47th place, respectively. Senior co-captain Evan Guiney, Rom Cabeza ’08 and Eric Glustrom ’07 placed 60th, 92nd and 132nd, respectively.
Next up for the Jeffs is the NCAA Regional Meet, which will see the return of both teams’ top runners to the trail.
“We’re heading to [Regionals] on Saturday looking to continue to race strongly as a team, with a possible team berth at the NCAA Championships for the women and perhaps some individual qualifiers for the men,” said Nedeau. “We just need to do what we have been doing successfully this season and I think things will play out nicely for us.”