WESTFIELD, MA-- Williams' women's varsity cross country placed second of the Div. III teams and 8th overall out of 37 teams competing at today's Div. I New England Championship hosted by Westfield State College.
The day of competition started with the sub-varsity women's 5k, in which Williams placed 1st out of 20 teams. The flat course is known for producing very fast times, which showed when the first JV runner crossed the line in 18:10, followed closely behind by Williams' top finisher Alison Smith in 18:11. Three Williams runners, Celeste Berg '13, Louisa Lee '14, and Eirann Cohen '15, followed in 18:36 (10), 18:39 (12), and 18:43 (14), respectively. These top four Williams times would prove to be competitive even amongst the varsity results. Anna Ryba '16 (19:05) rounded out the scoring in what was a break through race of her early college career. Williams' team total was 65 points, just edging out MIT (68) for first place.
After the race head coach Pete Farwell was pleased to announce, "we accomplished a new first for our women's cross-country team, winning the Sub-Varsity Division in a tight race over MIT and Division I teams Vermont, Boston College and Dartmouth."
The varsity teams ran the same 5k course which included a large woods loop that had luckily dried up from the week's rain, but was still rocky and technical. The uneven surface ended up being a big factor in the tightly packed varsity women's race where multiple runners fell often resulting in pile ups.
The top finisher in the race was Monica Adler from D1 Boston University in a time of 17:00 flat. The first Williams runner, Kaleigh Kenny '14, placed 35th in 18:10. Fellow junior, Brianne Mirecki, was close behind in 18:12 (39), followed by sophomores Adrienne Strait and Amelia Ortiz in 18:17 and 18:31, respectively. Shayna Barbash '14, after suffering a hard fall in the woods loop managed to recover for a 18:39 (73) finish to round out the scoring.
Div. I Boston College won the race with a low 45-point score. MIT, 5th overall, was the first Div. III team with 198 pts. Williams ended up with 248 points good for 8th overall and second amongst Div. III competition.
Westfield State will also host this year's regional championships/NCAA qualifier later this fall, so regardless of the results, this meet provided a great opportunity to preview the course. Coach Farwell summarized the day's events, "The team is training well and improving rapidly - this was a great test on the regional course, and we competed well against top level competition, while still running in good strong packs."
Williams will next compete at the Little Three Championship hosted by Amherst College this Saturday, October 13th.
Full Results: http://www.neicaaa.org/XC/2012XC.html