Cross Country Still Has Room for Improvement
Issue   |   Fri, 10/21/2011 - 18:12

The men’s and women’s cross country teams had impressive races at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) Championships, held at Franklin Park, on Oct. 8. Junior Keri Lambert led the women’s team for the third consecutive meet.

Lambert, who’s had an exceptional season, led the Lady Jeffs again at the Little Three Championships on Oct. 15 for a second-place team score. The men came in third, with Williams taking the title on both men’s and women’s side.

In their earlier meet, the Lady Jeffs placed 10th out of 43 Div. I, II and III teams at the NEICAAA championships. Senior co-captain Melissa Sullivan said “the team had a few strong performances, but didn’t have its best day overall.” Lambert clocked in at 17:59 in the 5k race, for a seventh-place finish out of 269 runners.

Her performance earned her NESCAC Performer of the Week honors for the second time this season. Junior Ali Simeone came in 51st with an 18:55.

Lauren Almeida ’13 and Jessica Kaliski ’15 finished with times of 19:19 and 19:27, respectively and Victoria Sosnowski ’14 was close behind with a 19:33. Boston College had four runners in the top 10 and took the team title.

On the men’s side, Andrew Erskine ’13 led the pack with a 26:16 finish in the 8k, coming in 77th out of 294 competitors. Pat Grimes ’13 continued to be a reliable scoring force for the Jeffs, crossing the tape in 26:25.

First-year KC Fussell was close on his heels with a 26:27 finish. Greg Turissini ’15 and Dillon Buckley ’13 rounded out the Jeffs top-five finishers with times of 26:59 and 27:15, respectively.

At the Little Three Championships, Lambert finished second overall on the women’s side with an 18:29.8 in the 5k, coming in 4.7 seconds behind a first-year from Williams.

Simeone came in sixth with a 19:21.4 and Almeida finished 11th at a 19:42.3. Juniors Sarah Daly and Elodie Reed finished 18th and 20th, with times of 20.04.6 and 20.08.0, while Kaliski and Sullivan raced each other to the finish line, coming in 23rd and 24th, respectively, with times of 20.18.8 and 20:19.1.

Williams dominated, as the Ephs had eight finishers in the top 10, which helped them to the meet-low score of 20. Amherst finished at 44 and Wesleyan scored 78. “At Little Threes we were more strategic than normal and not everyone raced to their maximum ability,” Sullivan said. “Still, the race was a definite improvement for the team as a whole from just a week before.”

On the men’s side, in a field of 73 runners, Erskine finished first among the Jeffs and 12th overall, clocking in at 27:01.3. Fussell and Grimes were in hot pursuit, taking 13th and 14th with times of 27.02.1 and 27:08.3, respectively.

Buckley finished 20th with a 27:17.5, and Turissini was not far behind at 23rd, stopping the clock at 27:36.7.

But again Williams dominated the team competition, as the men’s team bested the women’s score with just 19 points.

Wesleyan scored 57 and Amherst tallied 62. Head coach Erik Nedeau was pleased with the men’s team’s past two races, and he’s looking forward to seeing how the team will compete in the end of the season.

“We have done a lot of great things in training that have been focused on NESCAC’s and beyond, and as we get ready to focus our efforts on the championship races I am excited for what the guys can do.”

The Jeffs race again at the NESCAC championships on Oct. 29.

Sullivan said that the NESCAC championship is “always an exciting race, with great competition against our most familiar rivals. We’re really excited to have the advantage of running on our home course.”

The team has a week and a half before the meet, which gives them some time to get ready. “We’ve been looking stronger and stronger in workouts, and we’re going to put in some intense training between now and then to prepare,” Sullivan explained.