XC Teams Have Strong Showing at UMass
Issue   |   Wed, 09/18/2013 - 00:52

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.

The duo’s level of success against a stacked field bodes well for a potential breakout season from the runners.

First-year Raymond Meijer also had an excellent day in his first collegiate race (20:05.56), while Alvaro Morales ’14 (20:10.35) and Jeff Seelaus ’16 (20:15.19) put up solid showings as well.

“I was really pleased with our results,” Coach Erik “Ned” Nedeau said. “We were very competitive with all the other teams, all of which were Div. I, and we had two guys in the top ten overall, so we did a great job of competing. We were also missing a few guys, including two of our top runners from last year.” Indeed, junior Greg Turissini and senior Charlie Reighard did not participate in the race as both were recovering from injury or illness.

“Once we get everyone back, we should see a nice jump,” Nedeau said. “But this meet was an awesome start for us.”

With plenty of bright spots from the weekend, the Jeffs will try to keep the momentum rolling at next weekend’s USM Invitational (Sept. 21).


Competing against a similarly stiff field, the Jeffs did themselves proud with a string of solid individual performances. First-year Savanna Gorsiewicz, coming off a strong outing at Smith, led the way at 33rd overall with a time of 18:58.56. Close behind her was Sophie Currin ’16 (19:01.23), followed by captain Lizzy Briskin ’15 (19:06.19). First-year Catherine Lowdon (19:11.71) and junior Jessie Kaliski (19:15.61) rounded out Amherst’s top five.

“We had a lot of sickness amongst our top runners, which has a big effect on the overall team score,” Coach Cassie Funke-Harris said. “I was really impressed by the way the team executed the race plan. We did a nice job of packing up in the first half, and we moved really well in the second half of the race.”

Gorsiewicz and the other first-years “have adjusted really well to college running,” she said. “If we can keep them healthy and excited, it bodes well for us down the road.”

She found other positives, too, that she believes point to the start of an exciting fall.

“Of the upper-classwomen, I was especially impressed with Keelin Moehl ’16 (19:48.54),” she said. “She battled sickness on and off all last fall, but she seems healthy now and had a great race this weekend. It will be fun to see what she’s able to do this year.”

With two weeks off, the team’s first priority will be to get healthy. Once they do so, they will look forward to traveling to Williamstown, Mass. on Sept. 28 for the Purple Valley Classic.