AMHERST, MA -- Women's cross-country took first place in the Little Three Championship hosted by Amherst College. The win exteneded the Ephs' current win streak in the Little Three race to five.
The meet between Williams, Amherst, and Wesleyan, is historically a very competitive race. Keri Lambert of Amherst, one of the top runners in the nation, won the race in 18:21. Second overall and Williams' top finisher was Allison Smith in 19:20.
The rolling 5k course has a large meadow loop that was extremely muddy from the week's rain, but the team handled the conditions well. Amherst also had a clear race strategy of sending Lambert out at what Williams' assistant coach Lance Harden called, "a suicidal 5:07/mile pace" to try to lure Williams' top pack into going out too fast. The Williams runners didn't succumb to the strategy and ran their own patient and strategic race.
The success of the team's pack running strategy was evident in the results. Only one non-Williams runner finished in between the teams scoring pack. Williams' took 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th overall. After Smith, junior Kaleigh Kenny and sophomore Adrienne Strait crossed the line in times of 19:14 and 19:15, respectively. Junior co-captain Brianne Mirecki and sophomore Amelia Ortiz rounded out the scoring in times of 19:25 and 19:27. Leslie Blackshear '14 crossed the line just behind Ortiz in a matching time of 19:27. Co-captain Celeste Berg '13, despite an injury, finished seventh for the team in 19:47.
Williams won comfortably scoring 24 points. Amherst took second (45) in front of Wesleyan with 70 points.
After the race, head coach Pete Farwell was proud to see the team "firing on all cylinders." He was particularly pleased that the women "were healthy despite rigorous training" and is looking forward to the upcoming championship season.
Next weekend's Plansky Invitational at home will be the end of the season for many of the Eph runners as it is the last event before the champioship meets begin. Next Saturday at Mt. Greylock HS the women will run at 5K at 12:00 PM
Those still competing in the championship season could have a two-week break before the NESCAC Championships on Saturday, October 27th at Bowdoin.