XC Teams Take Second In Little III Championship
Issue   |   Tue, 10/29/2013 - 23:16

Men

On Saturday, Oct. 19, Wesleyan Univ.hosted the Little Three Championships, where the Amherst men’s cross country team took to the trails against archrivals Wesleyan and Williams.

The Jeffs finished second behind Williams (25 points), whose five scoring leaders all finished in the top-10. With three runners in the top seven, Amherst took second with 37 points, and Wesleyan followed with 57 points.

Senior captain Charlie Reighard ’13 commented, “Although we lost to Williams this past Saturday, we put forth a great team effort that should give us momentum into the upcoming races. We were actually winning until the last mile and a half or so. The fact that we competed with them so well is encouraging.”

Leading this inspiring effort for the Jeffs was KC Fussell ’15 who finished less than three seconds behind the individual champion, Chris Lee of Williams. Dan Crowley ’16 finished in a time of 25:59.2, just two seconds behind Fussell. Crowley finished ahead of Williams’ Bijan Mazaheri to take third place. The third Jeff to finish within the top seven was Greg Turissini ’15 who finished in a time of 26:18.4.

Rounding out the Jeffs’ top five were Raymond Meijer ’17 and Reighard who out of the field of 52 runners finished in 11th place and 14th place, respectively.

Alvaro Morales ’14 finished with a time of 26:54.6 which placed him 17th, while Ben Fiedler ’17 and Keven Conners ’17 took 23rd and 24th with times of 27:23.1 and 27:26.6. Romey Sklar ’15 (27:30.0), Gus Greenstein ’14 (27:41.6) and Lucas Lebovitz ’15 (27:46.0) also performed well for the Jeffs.

Coach Nedeau, commenting on the results of the race, noted, “I was extremely pleased with our effort and how we attacked the race this weekend, and I believe this is exactly what we needed as we head into our biggest meets. We looked real flat last weekend, and I really wanted to see them race with purpose on Saturday, and they did that. We knew beating Williams would be tough but felt that our best chance to do so would be to be aggressive and establish ourselves at the front from the onset, and we did that.”

Nedeau also mentioned the return of last year’s top runner, Turissini. This gave the Jeffs a definite boost, which is why Reighard feels that “If a couple other guys can step up, we can be a very dangerous team and shock some people at NESCACS. The big races are now right around the corner, and our team is definitely amped up and excited to see what we can do.”

Only time will tell as the Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the NESCAC championship, which will be hosted by Conn. College.

Women
The Amherst women’s cross country team traveled to Middletown on Saturday, Oct. 19, for the Little Three Championships against rivals Williams and Wesleyan.

Leading the way in the Jeffs’ second place finish was Catherine Lowdon ’17 who finished 12th in a field of 63, posting a time of 19:15.9. Lowdon was the first non-Eph finisher as Williams runners took the top eleven slots in the race to garnish 15 points in route to taking home the title. The Jeffs amounted 54 points with their top harriers to take second and Wesleyan, with just one harrier in the top-25, took third with 79 points.

Sophie Currin ’17 finished a hair ahead of Amy Dao ’14 as they posted respective times of 19:25.7 and 19:26.2 to land 15th and 16th place.

Coach Funke-Harris was especially impressed with Dao’s race. “She’s really making the most of her senior season, and in a lot of ways, she’s been a ringleader for our team. She wasn’t afraid to get after it, but she has come a long way in figuring out how to take some chances and put herself out there without doing something crazy at the start of the race that gets her in trouble later on.”

Funke-Harris added, “This course was definitely more challenging than the one we competed on at Franklin Park last week, and across the board, people ran similar or faster times, so I think that shows that we’re trending in the right direction heading into championship season.”

Rounding out the top five for Amherst were Betsy Black ’16 (19:27.4) in 17th overall and Lizzy Briskin ’15 (19:29.8). Other successful runners for the Jeffs included Jessie Kaliski ’15 (19:31.3), Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17 (19:36.1), Caroline Rose ’16 (19:37.2) and Lisa Walker ’14 (19:41.5) who closed out a pack of eight consecutive Jeff finishers.

Briskin commented on these results.

“We had a strong pack finishing together in the top half of the team, with a great showing by the underclassmen. Williams is a strong opponent, but we were happy to defeat Wesleyan on their home course! We are now in championship season, which takes more focus on refining our racing strategy and maintaining all the work we put in earlier in the season,” she said.

The Jeffs will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 2 for the NESCAC Championships hosted by Conn. College.

Funke-Harris shared her sentiments on the upcoming race noting, “I’m optimistic for a top five finish. The team knows what we need to do for us to accomplish our goal, and now it’s just a matter of making it happen. We need each person to bring their best, but we don’t need anyone to pull out something we’ve never seen before. The team has a lot of confidence, and rightly so; they’ve done all the hard work.”

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