It was a relatively successful weekend for the men’s cross country team as the Jeffs took home fifth place finish at the 19-team Univ. of Southern Maine Invitational.

As a team, the Jeffs finished the five-mile course just seconds behind Tufts, who took fourth place overall. MIT, Bates and Bowdoin also beat out Amherst, but the Jeffs’ performance was strong enough to put them in the top quarter of the field. Notably, the Jeffs’ 113 points put them far ahead of NESCAC rivals Conn. College (177 points) and Colby (206 points).

Although the official scoreboard indicates that both cross country teams finished sixth out of six at the UMass Invitational, the weekend was anything but a loss for the program.


Kicking off their season against Division I competition, the squad performed admirably, highlighted by two impressive individual performances from sophomore Dan Crowley and junior KC Fussell. The former led the Jeffs with a time of 19:29.75, good for fourth overall. About five seconds behind him was Fussell, who took ninth overall with a 19:36.44 mark.

Imagine you knew nothing about American professional sports. If I told you that every major sport had a Hall of Fame, a place to immortalize the players who dominated and revolutionized their game, it would probably make sense to you. Then, suppose I told you that being among the best players in your era wasn’t always a guarantee to get you into your sport’s Hall.

If there was any doubt about how the women’s cross country team would rebound from the loss of all-world star Keri Lambert ’13, the squad has, at least for now, quieted it.

The arrival of the Class of 2017 can only mean that fall has arrived, and, as surely as the foliage will soon change colors, the Jeffs will soon return to doing what they do best: dominating the NESCAC. 2012-13 was another banner year for Amherst athletics, complete with the championship finishes (including a national title for the Men’s Basketball team) that have come to be commonplace in recent years. Still, if it’s possible to top last year’s success, we have every reason to believe that this year’s outfits — led, of course, by the Class of 2014 — will find a way.

Although few were fully satisfied with the Firedogs’ 14-9 finish in 2012, particularly after an impressive string of 20-win seasons under illustrious coach Sue Everden, there were plenty of bright spots last fall for the Lady Jeffs.

For starters, seniors such as Emily Waterhouse ’13 and Kristin Keeno ’13 ended their individual careers on a strong note; Keeno led the team in digs, while Waterhouse’s total of 188 kills was second on the squad.

A 20-win season such as Coach Jen Hughes produced in 2011 is certainly hard to top, but the Lady Jeffs put together almost as strong an effort in 2012, finishing 13-2-2 and making the NCAA tournament.

What was the Lady Jeffs’ formula for success? To be sure, the team had its share of starpower. Forward Amanda Brisco ’14, for example, tied for the NESCAC lead with 22 total points and posted top-five marks with eight goals and six assists.