NEW LONDON, CT—Despite cloudy skies and a light drizzle, the Ephs' spirits were high at the Connecticut College Cross Country Invitational. All of the healthy harriers joyfully toed the line together for a day of rainy PRs on a flat course by the sea at Harkness Memorail State Park. The race featured strong competition from New England, as well as other regions, with a field of over 300 women.
In the end, Middlebury won the race with 67 points, followed by Dickinson College with 72 points, and Tufts with 82 points. Williams took 4th with 116 points.
The race presented a number of challenges for the Ephs, which they took on ably. The first-years had to adjust to their first 6k, after racing 5ks throughout high school and in their first few races of college. The Ephs also missed a number of their key contributors due to illness, which provided an opportunity for the depth of the team to show through. The size of the race was also a chance for the Ephs to practice the tactical skills that will serve them well in large, championship races. Head Coach Pete Farwell said, "In a large field, it can be difficult to keep your balance and your poise and your pace, and I thought we did really well at that."
Kaitlyn Mooney, a sophomore out of Coast Guard, won the 6k race in a time of 21:09. Junior Emma Herrmann was the first Eph to finish, taking 9th in a time of 22:08. Close behind was senior Emily Harris, who was 10th in 22:11. Said Farwell of Herrmann and Harris, "we have two tremendous front runners, which is a great thing for the team, both in score and in leadership."
Sophomore Sarah Tully moved up throughout the race to achieve 26th place in a time of 22:37. First-year Grace Dailey took 29th, with a time of 22:41. Sophomore Caroline Galo rounded out the top 5, placing 42nd with a time of 23:00. Fellow sophomore Jaylan Fraser-Mines was next, taking 47th with a time of 23:02. Junior Janelle Gowgiel was the 7th finisher for the Ephs, continuing her breakout season with a 63rd place finish in 23:21. A large number of Ephs followed close behind. Senior Lindsay Klickstein was 71st with a time of 23:26, followed by first-year Abby Scott and sophomore Erica Barrett, who were 80th and 86th with times of 23:32 and 23:36, respectively.
Farwell was very excited about the depth of the Ephs this year, saying, "I'm really optimistic about what we're going to be able to do with this pack—they are the real key to how we will do in some of these championship races."
About a minute later, another pack of Ephs crossed the line. First-year Lauren Fossell ran 24:38, followed by junior Hannah Lebowitz in 24:44 and junior Adrienne Banks in 24:45. Sophomore Wyndom Chace returned from illness fantastically in a time of 25:15. Junior Julia Gunther was next in 25:58, followed by first-year Avivah Malin in 26:39 and senior Jesse Facey, who returned from months of injury to run 28:03.
Said Assistant Coach Jamie Norton, "Top to bottom, we had a ton of PRs today, which is always exciting to see." With 16 out of 18 women setting Personal Records, ocean views, and lots of cow print, it was a fantastic day for the Ephs. Women's XC will return to competition for the NESCAC Championship on October 27th, hosted by Tufts at the historic Franklin Park course.