Cross Country Returns Stars, Will Again Push for Postseason
Issue   |   Thu, 09/03/2015 - 22:51

Men

After placing ninth in the nation to conclude their 2014 season, the men’s cross country team looks to return to the NCAA Division III championships in 2015 and make some noise at the regional level along the way.

Key graduates include Greg Turissini ’15, Romy Sklar ’15 and KC Fussell ’15, but Amherst will also return talented runners who can build off their year or two of experience.

Mohamed Hussein ’18 took the conference by storm in his first-year campaign, placing 12th overall at the NESCAC meet and also placing 23rd overall at the NCAA championships.

“This season we’ll return the bulk of the guys who partook and contributed to our huge success last year. Hence, we are hoping for continuity this season,” Hussein said. “Personally, unlike last year, I have a great summer of training under my belt. My priority is to stay hungry, especially after the year I had last year.”

Senior Dan Crowley will also return and look to build off a strong junior campaign. He placed 11th overall at the NCAA regionals to help the Jeffs on the way to earning a second-place finish at the meet.

Both Hussein and Crowley were named to the All-NESCAC second team for their efforts in 2014.

Erik Nedeau will return as the head coach of the program, entering his 19th season at the helm.

The team kicks off the season on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the UMass Invitational before running in the Purple Valley Invitational two weeks later.

Women

The women’s cross country team enjoyed a successful season last year, placing third at the NESCAC championships and finishing 11th overall at the NCAA championships. The team graduated six seniors, but the Jeffs will look to their large junior and sophomore classes as well as their incoming first-year class to fill the gaps.

Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17 returns for her junior campaign, coming off an impressive sophomore year. Gornisiewicz raced to a fifth-place finish at the NESCAC championships in 2014 and placed 23rd in the nation at the national meet. She was also named to the All-NESCAC first team.

The Jeffs also return senior Lexi Sinclair. Sinclair performed consistently well last fall, placing 11th at the NESCAC championship meet and helping Amherst on the way to earning a fourth-place at the NCAA regional meet by finishing 24th in the field of 387. She was named an All-NESCAC second team honoree in 2014.

Other top performers that are looking to build on their successes from last year include senior Betsy Black as well as sophomores Tess Frenzel and Cat Lowdon.

“We lost some key players on the team, but we’ve got some returners and incoming freshmen that will definitely step up,” Lowdon said. “We’re looking forward to training hard and reaping the benefits of all of that hard work in our upcoming races.”

The women’s season also begins with the UMass Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 12. Like the men, they’ll follow up their seasoner with the Purple Valley Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 26 before playing host for the Little Three championships on Saturday, Oct. 17.

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