At the annual Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Amherst women’s cross country team placed 21st in the multi-divisional Brown race, scoring 564 points. Siena College, a Division I program, claimed the team title with 109 points.
The University of Rochester was the top finishing Division III team, placing fourth overall with 301 points.
A total of approximately 6,000 athletes from nearly 450 colleges and high schools competed at the Paul Short Run, the nation’s biggest intercollegiate cross country race.
While the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course is known to be one of the faster courses in the nation, wet surfaces made for poor footing and a more challenging race.
The nine competing Mammoths raced against a field of 363 runners in the Brown division race.
Pacing the Amherst harriers from start to finish, sophomore Olivia Polischeck ran a lifetime-best 22:37 over the 6k course to place 34th.
Senior captain Lela Walter (22:53) finished next for the Mammoths in 52nd, followed by junior Kristin Ratliff (23:28) in 97th.
Sophomore Sarah Gayer (24:20) placed 193rd, trailed closely by first-years Eline Laurent (24:30) and Julia Doubson (24:30) in 214th and 216th, respectively.
Junior Olivia Moehl (25:40, 312th), junior Jenny Mazzella (25:50, 321st) and sophomore Katie Crum (26:20, 336th) rounded out the competing Mammoths.
“Our team’s biggest goals this season have been to stay positive during the race, start conservatively, and pick off women (by passing) in the latter miles of the race,” said Polischeck.
“For the most part, we moved really well from the first mile through the end of the race,” head coach Cassie Funke-Harris added.
“We knew this course had some deceptively tough parts, and I think the women came in mentally ready to attack it,” added Funke-Harris.
Next up, the Mammoths will travel to Harkness Memorial Park to compete in the Conn. College Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13.