GORHAM, ME -- The NCAA Divsion III New England Regional meet was held on the Gorham Country Club golf course and hosted by Southern Maine University. It was a blustery day, but the wind calmed and the sun came out as the race start approached. The conditions were considerably cooler than the Ephs have raced in this season, but many layers and head warmers kept them warmer. Additionally, the relatively flat terrain played into the women's favor after training in the Berkshire mountains.
A hard team race effort was rewarded with a third place finish for Eph women in a field of 393 finishers representing 63 different teams. The harriers were led by senior captain Victoria Kingham in 6th place. She ran a tactical, smart race in the top pack, finishing in 20:59. Following Kingham was senior captain Anna Harleen. Harleen made a huge push in the last mile of the race to pass many competitors, and finished in 13th place with 21:36. Crossing the line 3rd for the team and sophomore Audrey Rusted overall was 21st. She put in a hard effort that was rewarded with the a fast time of 21:46. Next in was freshman Erica Barrett, whose conservative start had major payoffs later in the 6k. Barrett flew to the finish in 22:06 place, a new personal record, and good for 25th place. All four women earned All-New England Regional honors, which goes to the top 35th finishers. Williams' 5th runner and final scorer was junior Emily Harris, who worked the slight rolling hills to pass competitors. She crossed the line in stellar time of 22:25, also a personal record, and 44th place.
The Ephs' sixth and seventh runners also had very strong races. Seniors Stella Worters and Emily Sundquist, who worked together throughout the race, crossed the finish line just two places apart, both running 22:30. Worters and Sundquist placed 50th and 52nd, respectively. Their efforts displaced many runners on other teams. Sundquist was the fastest 7th runner in the entire race, and both women beat the 5th runners on 51 of the 63 teams represented.
The top two teams, MIT and Tufts, received automatic bids to the NCAA Division III championship meet. The consistent and strong racing by Williams throughout the season puts them in a good position to receive an at-large bid to the championship race.
Assistant Coach Sami Jorgensen was very proud of everyone today, saying "because the team has overcome setbacks and illnesses, and pullied toghether in a focused and upbeat way." Jorgensen is also excited to see the "forward looking attitudes of the team" as they gear up for NCAAs next weekend in Elsah, Illinois.