Cross country: Women take 17th, men 19th at New Englands

Men’s Cross Country

The men had a solid team performance at the Open, finishing in 19th place with 493 points. Co-captain seniors Matt Katz and Dave Molina led the way, placing 47th and 61st with times of 25:49 and 26:02, respectively, out of the field of 315 harriers.

Crossing the finish line a mere 20 seconds later was first-year Tomas Morrissey, who came in 83rd. Richard Wilson ’07, John Babbott ’07, Fraser Kitchell ’07E and Cooper Knowlton ’07 finished 147th, 155th, 240th and 258th, respectively.

“The men raced extremely well, and are coming together very nicely as a team, and should surprise a lot of teams as we head into the championships,” said Coach Erik Nedeau.

In particular, the return of Jack Morgan ’05, Dave Schreiner ’06 and Nate Freese ’07 will enhance the team’s depth and strength.

“They may be just the spark to help us race even better at the conference meet and boost our chances for making a return to the National meet,” added Nedeau.

Women’s Cross Country

The women’s team still managed an excellent performance at the meet, despite the absence of some top runners, notably All-American co-captain Carter Hamill ’05. The women ended the meet in 17th place with 472 points.

Placing 15th overall in the field of 302 women, sophomore Shauneen Garrahan crossed the finish line in 18:22. First-year Kim Partee trailed Garrahan by 26 seconds to finish 32nd in the race.

Junior Ginger Polich finished third for the team in 106th place overall. The team’s fourth and fifth scorers were first-years Katie Moravec and Heather Wilson, in 122nd and 198th place, respectively. Rounding out the varsity runners was co-captain Ali Rodriguez ’05 rounded out the varsity runners, finishing four spots behind Wilson in 202nd place.

“The women were without four of our top runners at the meet, and those that were racing did not have their best days,” said Nedeau.

In addition to Hamill, Margaret Davis ’06, Laura Mortimer ’08 and Vanessa Sochat ’08 were unable to compete at the Open, but these women will be back in action for the upcoming championship meets.

“You will see a much different team in these last few weeks because one bad race is not going to make [the women] lose focus of what they are capable of achieving this season,” said Nedeau, who remains confident about the remainder of the year.

Indeed, with all the runners competing again, the women have the power to do some serious damage at the more important championship meets over the next few weeks. A national title remains in the realm of possibility for this team.

The men and women hit the trails again on Saturday at the Little Three Championships at Wesleyan University.