Cross Country Teams Race to Successful NESCAC Results
Issue   |   Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:52
Senior co-captain Keri Lambert led the Jeffs to a sixth place finish. Lambert finished second overall, crossing the finish line five seconds after Addie Tousley of Middlebury.
Olivia Tarrantino ’15 Staff Photographer

WOMEN

The cross country teams wearing the purple and white faced their first NESCAC competition last weekend, with the women traveling to Williams for the Purple Valley Invitational, while the men making the trek to the Wesleyan Invitational.

Once again, Keri Lambert ’13 led the women’s team to a solid finish in the 6K event, as Amherst came in sixth place in a 15 team field.

This team effort was even more impressive considering the lack of experience the Jeffs had in the race; many runners taking part had never run a 6K competition before. In any case, Lambert, Lauren Almeida ’13, and Lizzy Briskin ’13 all finished in the top 30 to propel the Jeffs past seventh place NYU by four points. Lambert, last year’s individual champion at the Purple Valley Invitational, lost the top honor by only five seconds this year, as Addie Tousley ’13 from Middlebury had a stronger kick over the last 200 meters to run past the Amherst co-captain.

After Lambert’s second place finish in 21:55, Almeida and Briskin clocked in at 23:23 and 23:24, good for 27th and 30th places, respectively.

Other solid performances included Sarah Daly ’13, who was not far behind Briskin with a time of 23:52, and first-year Lexi Sinclair ’16, who finished the course in 24:03. A pair of other first-years, Caroline Rose ’16 and Betsy Black ’16, also ran well.

Rose finished in 24:09 while Black came in with a time of 24:18. As a team, the Jeffs barely scratched by NYU to earn sixth place with 156 total team points, but they were well behind the top three of Williams, MIT and Middlebury, all of whom had scores below 90.

MEN

The men’s squad faced an interesting dilemma in their 8k race at Wesleyan. Since eight runners are scheduled to travel to the Paul Short Run in Lehigh, Penn. on Friday, they did not take part in the Wesleyan race. Instead, those eight simply ran a workout on the course before supporting their teammates. With the combination of some top runners sitting out and a few injuries, only nine Jeffs actually participated in the race. Nevertheless, the team performed well, with Dan Crowley ’16, Jeff Seelaus ’16 and Pat Grimes ’13 all breaking into the top 20 with times of 27:16, 27:19 and 27:33, respectively. Teammate Alvaro Morales ’14 lauded the trio after the race, saying that they “ran a gutsy race by going out with the lead pack, and they all showed great progress.” Morales also lauded the effort of Brent Harrison ’16, who finished in 28:33, by calling the first-year’s 8k debut “awesome,” while simultaneously spreading the praise around for all the first-years and saying “it will be exciting to see if a freshman can make an impact later on in the season.”

Aside from the runners already mentioned, Eli Howe ’13, Scott Gemmell-Davis ’15 and Alex Durkee ’15 rounded out the Jeffs’ top seven, which came in fourth place with 97 points. Amherst was within striking distance of second and third places, as both the Coast Guard and host Wesleyan finished with over 80 points, but Bowdoin ran away with the team title by taking the top four spots en route to a dominating, 18-point performance.

As mentioned, the eight Jeffs who sat out the Wesleyan race will travel to the Paul Short Run this Friday, while the women’s squad will not be back in action until Oct. 6 at the James Earley Invitational at Westfield State.

As more Amherst runners get healthy and round themselves into prime shape, these meets should continue to build on the momentum already established thus far in the season.

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