WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. - On a crisp, blue-sky fall day, the Ephs arrived at their home course at Mt. Greylock Regional High School to host the NESCAC Cross-Country Championships, for the first time since 2007. The beautiful weather would prove fitting for the Ephs' fantastic day.
Through a combination of excellent individual performance and characteristic depth, the Ephs won NESCACs with a score of 58 points, placing 6 runners in the top 20. The runner-up was Tufts, with 90 points, followed by Bates with 110 points.
The win by the Ephs gives them four NESCAC titles in the last five years and 17 overall titles.
Sophie Gorman of Colby was the individual NESCAC champion. Gorman established a quick pace early in the race and led the field for a 21:40 finish. Tufts University had a dominant pair in the top 3, with Danielle Page and Sabrina Gornisiewicz chasing Gorman, ahead of the rest of the field, for 2nd and 3rd place.
The Ephs had some top finishers of their own. First-year Eva Borton battled with the next pack throughout the race and came out on top, earning 4th place in a time of 22:15, as well as All-NESCAC First-Team Honors. Junior Sarah Tully also ran a competitive race alongside many of the top athletes in the region, running 22:28 for 7th place and All-NESCAC First-Team Honors.
Behind the spectacular top performances from Borton and Tully, the Ephs' depth shone through, earning them the victory. In Cross-Country, only 5 athletes are scored, and Williams' third, fourth, and fifth runner came flying through in quick succession. Senior Maddy Boutet earned All-NESCAC Second Team Honors, placing 14th in a time of 22:55. Junior Brianna Bourne came through in 23:05, with senior co-captain Emma Herrmann just behind in 23:06. The pair earned 16th and 17th place, respectively. Williams placed all 5 of their scoring athletes in front of the other teams' 3rd runner.
Sophomore Grace Dailey was the 6th Eph to come through, running a smart race for 20th place in 23:21, while senior Anna Passannante earned 22nd in 23:24. Abby Scott followed shortly thereafter, running 23:29 for 26th. All of these women turned in excellent performances, which exemplifies the depth that has long brought this team success.
Junior Erica Barrett led in another round of Ephs, running 23:53 for 47th. Barrett has grown stronger with each race in 2019, and pulled out another strong performance on a challenging course. Fellow junior Jaylan Fraser-Mines crossed next, running 23:56 for 50th, followed by Sarah Jane O'Connor who covered the distance in 24:03. Sophomore Emma Tapscott continued her breakout season. Tapscott moved up throughout the race and finished with a time 24:13. Senior Leah Rosenfeld and sophomore Lilly Wells rounded out the field for the Ephs with times of 24:37 and 24:51, respectively.
Head Coach Pete Farwell was pleased, saying, "The Ephs took to it with vigor, joy, determination, fitness, and talent. This women's team has truly bonded by running stride for stride in workouts, elbow to elbow, and racing 'in touch.'"
The Ephs will return to the course on Sunday November 10th for the USATF Championship, and then will head north to Bowdoin the following week for the NCAA Regional Championship.