WILLIAMSTOWN, MA--The Ephs will head north this weekend to Bates College in Lewiston, ME to face teams from all 10 other NESCAC schools. The team will aim to win their third consecutive conference championship. The top 15 individuals on each team will take to the course, with the top 5 scoring.
The Williams squad is fairly young, but has experienced leaders, including veterans with multiple championships under their belt as well as underclassmen that will be debuting in the 6k this weekend. 5 seniors will lead the group, which includes 9 underclassmen.
Senior Co-Captain Victoria Kingham will likely lead the Ephs, as she continues a phenomenal season, and may even vie for the individual title. However, she will face tough competition, including 2016 winner Middlebury senior Abigail Nadler, Amherst senior Nicky Roberts, and Tufts senior Brittany Bowman.
Senior co-captains Anna Harleen and Emily Sundquist will also probably be among the top Ephs to cross the line tomorrow. Harleen, a seasoned championship racer, is likely to be among the top pack of women, and Sundquist, who continues her successful return from injury, hopes to join her.
Sophomore Audrey Rustad will likely join her teammates in the top group, as she enjoys a breakout season after a first year punctuated by injuries. Erica Barrett has also had a very strong season in her first year as an Eph and finished 4th for the Ephs at Little Threes. Rounding out the possible top 5 is senior veteran Stella Worters. However, any number of other runners could also finish in the top 5, due to the Ephs characteristic depth. Sophomore Anna Passannante, first-year Sarah Tully could also potentially score, among others.
Many of the racers will be making their NESCAC debut. Senior Eliza Matt has earned her spot among the top runners after many years of hard work. Also heading to their first conference championship are junior Emily Harris, sophomores Leah Rosenfeld, Emily Tibbetts and Janelle Gowgiel, and first-years Brianna Bourne and Caroline Galo.
Although the Ephs are the highest ranked NESCAC team in the NCAA at 4th, they will surely be challenged by strong teams from Middlebury (8th), Bates (14th), and Tufts (17th). The race may be very close. Said Head Coach Pete Farwell, "Our teams have been preparing all summer and fall for this meet and are excited to kick off the championship season with full team effort, from a few of each gender challenging for individual top 10 finishes, and others to be in our top 5 scorers and to create a winning team score."
The race will take place at Pineland Farms, a challenging course with plenty of hills. The Ephs are well trained for hills, and are prepared to succeed on tough terrain. The women's race will begin at 1:00 PM.