Westfield, MA-- 11 Ephs took to the course Saturday for the James Earley Invitational, hosted at Stanley Park by Westfield State University. Under cloudy skies, the women worked together well on the fast, flat course.
For the first time this year, due to the consistently high numbers of entrants, the meet was split into a Varsity and Junior Varsity race. Leading the pack for the Ephs in the Varsity race was first-year Brianna Bourne, who finished 7th among a competitive field with an impressive time of 18:57 for 5k. Said Head Coach Pete Farwell, "Brianna had a really nice race coming back from illness. We hadn't really gotten to see what she can do, and it's looking really promising."
Next came her classmate, first-year Jaylan Fraser-Mines, who took 28th, with an excellent time of 19:35. Farwell was also pleased with her performance, remarking that "she had a really good step forward." Not far behind was sophomore Janelle Gowgiel, who ran 19:56 in just her second ever cross-country 5k! Senior Katie Flaharty came next, also setting a personal record of 20:38. Sophomore Hannah Lebowitz and first-year Wyndom Chace rounded out the pack of Ephs with times of 21:03 and 21:12, respectively.
Meanwhile in the Junior Varsity race, 5 Ephs raced their hardest and worked together well. They were lead by sophomore Adrienne Banks, who took 26th, in a time of 21:30. She spent much of the race packed up with Junior Jesse Facey, who finished in 36th with a time of 21:48. The next Eph to cross the line was sophomore Lauren Heuer, who took 42nd, with a time of 21:57. Sophomore Julia Gunther and Junior Emma Rogowski closed out the team with times of 23:24 and 24:33.
Coach Farwell was very pleased with his team's performance, saying that "all in all, it was a really good day for the team and the development of everybody."
The runners were cheered on with much enthusiasm by the women who had raced at Paul Short last weekend and came out to support their teammates.
Women's Cross Country returns to the course next weekend for the Little Three Championship. On their home course at Mt. Greylock High School, the Ephs will look to extend their winning streak to 10 years in a row.