Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Impress at Purple Valley Invitational
Issue   |   Tue, 09/29/2015 - 23:04

Men

Led again by the standout performance of sophomore Mohamed Hussein, the Amherst College men’s cross country team raced to a first-place finish among the 22 teams competing at the Purple Valley Invitational this past Saturday.

Hussein earned his second first-place finish in as many chances this season. He was again named the NESCAC Performer of the Week as well as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division III men’s cross country National Athlete of the Week. He posted a time of 25:16, 1:09 faster than his fourth place finishing time from last year.
In addition to Hussein, two other Jeffs placed in the top 15 of the field. Dan Crowley ’16 placed fifth overall with a time of 25:50 while Jeff Seelaus ’16 posted a time of 26:07 to take eighth in the meet.

Craig Nelson ’18 followed closely behind Seelaus, posting a time of 26:14.

Other Jeffs that factored into the scoring include the brother duo of Raymond Meijer ’17 and Tucker Meijer ’19 as well as Kevin Connors ’17. They finished with times of 26:19, 26:44 and 26:49 respectively.

“The meet was an important step for us and although we have a long way to go before the big end-of-season races, it was a successful result,” Raymond Meijer said. “We faced a lot of our NESCAC rivals and other teams who are some of the top in the country so it felt good to be able to see some of our training pay off. We definitely have a lot of room to grow, but it’s a good step for our long-term goals.”

The purple and white look to follow up their first place finish at the NEICAAA championship in two weeks. The meet is scheduled to start at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Women

The women’s cross country team earned fifth overall at the Purple Valley Invitational hosted at Williams this past Saturday. First-year Lizzie Lacy led the team, posting a time of 22:17 to place fifth overall in the meet.

Savanna Gonisiewicz ’17 crossed the line just four seconds after Lacy, finishing in seventh place overall.

Veronica Rocco ’19 accelerated in the last 1,200 meters of the race to pass several competitors to cross the line in 23:20, good for a 27th-place finish.

Other top finishers for the Jeffs included captain Betsy Black ’16 and juniors Cat Lowdon, Tess Frenzel and Cara Lembo. Black finished 43rd overall, clocking a time of 23:49. Lowdown and Frenzel finished back-to-back with times of 23:56 (50th) and 23:59 (51st) respectively. Lembo rounded out the top scorers for Amherst as she posted a time of 24:19.

The meet proved to be a significant point of improvement for the Jeffs, and all runners who competed in last year’s meet improved on their times.

Monica Nimmagadda ’18 ran to a time of 27:29 this year, a time nearly two minutes quicker than her 2014 finish. Black, Frenzel and Lowdon also made impressive improvements, posting times close to a minute faster than those from a year ago.

The Jeffs have a weekend off before racing again at the NEICAAA championships on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Franklin Park in Boston.

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