Women's Cross Country: Cross country takes third place at Tufts Invitational

“This was a very small meet, but with very competitive teams,” said co-captain Hilary Plum ’03.

Indeed so. Williams and Middlebury Colleges rank first and second, respectively, in the NCAA National Division III polls. Upon arriving at Tufts, the women learned that the “Farm Course” was six kilometers instead of the traditional five kilometers that the women have gotten accustomed to during their three previous races this fall. The extra half-mile altered the race for not only the Jeffs, but for the entire field.

“We arrived at the meet to find out fifteen minutes before the race that it would be 6k, instead of the 5k we normally race,” Plum said. “The championship races later this season will all be 6k, which is something new this season. We didn’t prepare for the 6k, because we didn’t know that the race would be longer, but it was good to get some practice early on in the season.”

Plum said the course at Tufts was “a true challenging cross-country course, very hilly and grassy.” The women came off of a “down-week” in practices for this meet according to Plum. “This past week was a week of relaxed practices in order to keep our legs fresh for a long season. There was not any special emphasis on this meet, but the team did perform well.”

Carter Hamill ’05 had a fabulous race, leading the Jeffs and placing third in the individual women’s competition with a time of 22:10. “I certainly noticed that Williams has a very strong team, as two of their girls took places one and two about halfway through the race and maintained that through the finish,” said Hamill. “I felt fairly good about the way I ran, but could have made some better decisions, like not taking it out as fast at the start of the race.”

Hamill finished behind Williams’ top two racers, Julia Bensen and Caroline Cretti. Williams captured an impressive three of the top five individual spots in the race. Williams won the overall race, Middlebury placed second and Amherst finished third.

Among the other racers for the Jeffs, Erinn White ’04 finished 15th with a time of 23:43. Co-captain Alison Dimon ’03, Jenny Horowitz ’06 and Plum finished 22nd, 23rd and 24th, respectively. “We all had good races, especially Jenny who is a freshman, and for whom this race was a definite improvement from all her other races,” said Plum.

Helen Dole ’04 finished with a time of 24:20 and freshman Margaret David finished 27th with a time of 24:24.

“Anyway, the race Saturday went well overall, especially in light of having tough competition,” said Hamill. “Williams continues to have a very strong team, which we saw yesterday. The fact that it was 6k was also an added challenge, but I think we took it well.”

The women have next weekend off in preparation for the New Englands, which will occur Oct. 11-13.