Cross Country Looks to Hit the Ground Running
Issue   |   Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:38

After several strong individual performances at the end of last season, the women’s cross country team is looking to take the next step and compete for a NESCAC championship. Led by returners Lizzy Briskin ’15, Caroline Rose ’16 and Catherine Lowdon ’17, the team looks to improve on an eighth place finish at the New England Championships last November. Briskin finished 36th overall out of a field of 371 competitors but missed qualifying the individual qualifying mark for Nationals by a matter of 10 seconds. Last season marked the first in ten years that the Jeffs failed to qualify for Nationals as a team.

“Every person who raced at regionals will be back next year, and there are others waiting in the wings for their opportunity to show they can compete at that level,” said Coach Cassie Funke-Harris.

The Jeffs offseason training will be put to the test, as they compete in the Smith Invitational on Saturday Sept. 6. The Jeffs won the invitational a season ago and look to repeat. That meet, the Jeffs placed three runners in the top five, led by Lexi Sinclair ’16 who paced the field, winning by a margin of 15 seconds.

Coming off an inspired run to NCAA Individuals, Dan Crowley ’16 is hoping to lead the rest of the men’s cross country team to new heights this season. After a disappointing 11th-place finish in the NCAA New England Championships two seasons ago and an eighth-place finish last season, the Jeffs will look to continue to improve this season.

Thought the team will miss the presence of graduated seniors Gus Greenstein and Charlie Reighard six of the Jeffs’ top nine runners from last season are returning, and the team is excited to welcome a talented group of newcomers.

The men will test their mettle against a stacked field of Div. I runners in their first meet at the UMass Invitational on Sept. 13. In last year’s event, Crowley signaled his emergence as one of the Jeffs’ top threats by finishing fourth overall at the event with a time of 19:29.75.

The Jeffs open the season ranked 22nd in the country and will look to try and catch archrival Williams College, who is ranked third in the nation. Expect a very hungry men’s team this season as they look to emerge as a dark horse national championship contender.