Williamstown, MA—The women's cross country team will head to Boston Saturday to compete at the 2018 NESCAC Cross Country Championship. The meet will be held at Franklin Park, a historic cross country course, and hosted by Tufts. The weather is forecasted to be wet and windy, but the Ephs are well-prepared to battle the conditions and best their competitors.
Williams enters the meet ranked 5th in the New England Region, and 15thnationally. They'll face a significant challenge from Middlebury, ranked 2ndin the region (#5 nationally), Tufts, 3rdin Region (#7 nationally), and Wesleyan, 6thin region (#15). Although those teams are strong, the Ephs draw strength from being the three-time defending champions.
Leading the way for the Ephs all season have been Emma Hermann '20 and co-captain Emily Harris '19. The duo have finished a place apart in nearly every meet, and are among the top runners in the NESCAC.
The Ephs welcome back into the lineup Audrey Rustad '20. Rustad, a returning All-American, has the potential to run with Hermann and Harris when healthy.
Behind those three, a number of Ephs have formed the bedrock of the scoring seven. These include sophomores Jaylan Fraser-Mines '21, Caroline Galo '21, Sarah Tully '21, Erica Barrett '21, and Grace Dailey '22. These athletes have all had fantastic races this year, and are poised for special days at NESCACs.
Although Middlebury and Tufts will pose significant challenges on Saturday, the Ephs have already bested both teams this year—at the Purple Valley Classic, the Ephs finished 2ndto MIT, comfortably ahead of both Tufts and Middlebury. Wesleyan, too, the Ephs have beaten this season, edging out the Cardinals 33-36 to win the Little Three title for the 12thconsecutive year. So while all those teams pose challenges, Williams is up to the task of meeting them.
Head coach Pete Farwell was excited about the team's upcoming meet, saying, "This team has prepared well all summer and fall, becoming closer together in workouts, in packs, in times, and as teammates. They are ready to compete at their best, in whatever conditions, as they have in practices, and now will in a possible Nor'easter. NESCAC is the strongest conference in women's Division III, so it will be quite a competition, and our Ephs will be in the thick of it, looking for our top 2 or 3 up in All-NESCAC (top 14 positions, and our next 2 scorers vying for top 25-30. We have really filled the gaps left from 2018 graduation, and several of the team abroad this semester. First Years and sophomores in particular have stepped up, and everyone of team has improved immensely in the 8 weeks they have now practiced and competed together."
The women's race will start at 10 AM.