Women's Cross Country Hopes to Overcome Key Losses
Issue   |   Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:50

After sending one runner 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 the 2017 season. The young squad graduated seven members of the class of 2017 and welcomed five first years to the class of 2021.

Despite bringing in several new faces, the coaching staff remains the same as Cassie Funke-Harris returns for her sixth season at the helm of the women’s cross country and track and field programs. Alongside her will be a pair of second-year assistant coaches, Bethany Dumas and Victoria Jusme.

The team enjoyed a successful season, placing seventh out of 59 teams at the NCAA Northeast Regional tournament and missing out on nationals by a small margin. However, the Mammoths did manage to send one runner, Katherine Treanor ’20, to the NCAA Championship meet in Louisville, Ky., who raced to a 27th-place finish out of 280 runners.

However, Treanor will be missing from the roster this season, as she transferred to Brown.

The team does welcome Nicky Roberts ’18 as the projected top returner and Veronica Rocco ’19 as the second top returner after they finished the season with impressive times. Hopefully, Roberts will be able to recpature her first-year form, when she nearly was named an All-American after a dominant showing at nationals. Although injuries have plagued her past few campaigns, she will be the centerpiece of any success the team will have.

Roberts and Rocco wil serve as captains this season, alongside Helen Clapp ’18 and Lela Walter ’19.

The team will open its season at the annual Smith Invitational in nearby Northampton on Saturday, Sept. 9.