Women’s Cross Country Chases Another Succesful Season
Issue   |   Thu, 09/01/2016 - 16:47

After sending two runners to the NCAA Division III National Championship race last season, the Amherst women’s cross country team is looking to build on that success and grow stronger as a program for its 2016 season. The young squad graduated three members of the class of 2016 and welcomed seven first-years to the class of 2020.

Not only is the program adding new athletes, but Bethany Dumas and Victoria Jusme were recently hired as assistant coaches for the women’s cross country and track and field programs. Dumas brings a wealth of experience to her position at Amherst having most recently served as the assistant track and field coach at Smith since 2014.

Jusme is a 2012 graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA with a bachelor’s degree in African, African-American, Diaspora Studies (AAADS). An NCAA Division III All-American, and Academic All-American selection in 2009 and 2010, Jusme joins the Amherst coaching staff after serving as the assistant track & field jumps coach at La Salle High School in Providence, Rhode, Island since 2013.

The team enjoyed a successful season, placing seventh out of 56 teams at the NCAA Northeast Regional tournament and sending two runners, Lizzie Lacy ’19 and Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17, to top-75 finishes at the NCAA Championship meet in Winneconne, Wisconsin. Lacy and Gornisiewicz were two of the only four women’s cross country runners representing the NESCAC at the National Championship race, and they hope to lead their team to another winning season.

This group of women proved successful on and off the course, as they also garnered prestigious academic honors individually and as a team. Six members of the 2015 squad garnered U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) team and individual academic honors. Amherst led the way for the eight NESCAC schools honored with the distinction, reporting a combined GPA of 3.58 to rank tied for first in the NESCAC. In addition, Amherst was one of just 15 schools to place six or more students-athletes on the All-Academic squad.

The purple and white will start their season off on Saturday, Sept. 10 right down the road at the UMass Invitational tournament.