Fussell, Briskin Pace Jeffs' XC at NEICAAA's
Issue   |   Fri, 10/18/2013 - 00:18

Men

The Amherst Men’s Cross Country team traveled to Boston this past weekend for the NEICAAA Championships. Coming into the competition with 556 points, the Jeffs ranked 21st overall and sixth among the Division III schools at the meet.

Central Conn. State took first in the event with 74 points, followed by Northeastern with 120 points. Dartmouth rounded out the top three with 133 points.

KC Fussell ’15 led the Jeffs, taking 60th in the 279-person field, crossing the finish line with a time of 25:43. Fussell was closely contested by Dan Crowley ’16, who finished 68th overall with a time of 25:45. Also performing well for the Jeffs were Charlie Reighard ’14, Alvaro Morales ’14 and Jeff Seelaus ’16 with times of 26:19, 26:36 and 26:40 respectively.

The Jeffs faced a large field of runners on Saturday, especially compared to the much thinner field they will face next weekend at the Little Three Championship.

“Little Three’s it is much smaller and you have a good sense of where you are, and where you need to be,” said Coach Erik Nedeau.

Because of the fiercer competition with many Division 1 teams in attendance, Nedeau believes that Saturday’s meet did not give a fair indication of the team’s potential.

“I am pretty confident we are a better team than what the results would say. We got out a little too conservative in relation to other teams. We should have been battling and when we needed to move hard to make up that ground we weren’t able to,” Nedeau said.

In a field so large, he added, “you can get lost in the masses.” Nedeau, like most of the runners, is hopeful that the Jeffs will discover their true potential next weekend against archrivals Williams and Wesleyan.

Women

The Amherst Women’s Cross Country team finished 25th at the NEICAAA Championships this past Saturday among 43 Division I, II and III teams. The team competed in both the varsity and sub-varsity races with fields of 283 and 299 runners, respectively.

Coach Cassie Funke-Harris expects the larger sized field to pay dividends for the Jeffs as the season progresses.
“I think the benefit of a race like New England’s is that it replicates bigger races like regionals and nationals in a way that a smaller championship meet like NESCACs doesn’t. It’s great to have that experience mid-way through the season so that team isn’t surprised by the congestion and excitement when they get to regions in November. We talked a lot about that ahead of time, and I was really impressed with how well the team, even the freshmen who are new to this at the collegiate level, kept themselves calm and used the energy and excitement as a positive rather than allowing it to be a distraction,” Funke-Harris said.

Lizzy Briskin ’15 led the way for the Jeffs in the varsity race with a time of 19:10. Crossing the finish line seconds later with a time of 19:18 was Sophie Currin ’17. Other top finishers for the Jeffs in the closely contested race included Catherine Lowdon ’17 (19:23), Amy Dao ’14 (19:25), Jessie Kaliski ’15 (19:32), Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17 (19:36) and Betsy Black ’16 (19:40).

In the sub-varsity race Caroline Rose ’16 led the way for the Jeffs finishing 31st overall with a time of 19:38. Lisa Walker ’14 also had a strong finish, completing the race with a time of 19:44. The sub-varsity top-five for the Jeffs also included Hannah Herrera ’17 (19:51), Olivia Tarantino ’15 (20:03) and Sarah Foster ’16 (20:10).

As for the top finishers amongst the whole field, Boston University’s Rosa Moriello won the varsity race with a time of 17:13 and New Hampshire’s Sarah Keiran finished in 18:24 to lead the pack in the sub-varsity race. New Hampshire took home the title with 57 points. Uconn and Yale rounded out the top three with 167 and 180 points, respectively.

The Jeffs will return to action at the Little Three Championships next Saturday.

“It’s our last meet with the entire team racing together, so I’m excited to see our women make the most of that,” Funke-Harris said.

Following the Little Three Championships this weekend, the Jeffs will run in the NESCAC Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“It was a good opportunity to see how we stack up with the other schools I expect we will finish around at the NESCAC meet … I think our women are really fired up to have a third crack at [Colby] in a couple of weeks. The NESCAC and our region are exceptionally strong this year, but I’m encouraged by the upward trajectory we are on right now,” Funke-Harris said.

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