XC teams compete in Wisconsin Invite

| 10/19/14 2:06pm

The women’s and men’s cross country teams scored 19th and 24th place finishes, respectively, at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday in Madison. Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, this invitational featured some of the nation’s best cross country teams.

The women’s 19th-place finish marked a downgrade from last season’s impressive 7th-place finish in the same invitational. Last year, Abbey D’Agostino ’14 led the Big Green women by winning the Wisconsin Invitational and setting a new course record. The loss of D’Agostino certainly harmed the women’s chances, but head coach Courtney Jaworski said she was pleased with the women’s performance.

“We knew that it was definitely going to be a very hard-fought race for everyone because all of the teams were so close to each other,” Jaworski said. “Although we ran slightly faster than last year, because the teams were closer, the ultimate team outcome was lower.”

Dana Giordano ’16 finished 19th overall, leading the Big Green women. Giordano improved on last year’s 29th place finish, crossing the tape one second faster than she had in 2013.

Captain Sarah DeLozier ’15 and Ellie Gonzalez ’18 also placed in the top 120, finishing in under 21:30. DeLozier’s time fell off by 13 seconds from last year when she placed 39th. This year, DeLozier finished 54th.

The Big Green women were the top Ivy League team in the field, finishing well ahead of Cornell University, Columbia University and Harvard University.

The men’s team finished 24th in the race, led by consistent scoring among its top four runners.

“We had very solid performances by our first four guys, which I was very happy to see, but the gap between our fourth and fifth guys was way too big,” men’s head coach Barry Harwick said.

Captain Silas Talbot ’15 led the scoring for the men’s squad, finishing the 8-kilometer race in 24:32 to take an 84th-place individual finish while not far behind him, three Dartmouth runners finished within a six-second span of each other. Nat Adams ’17, Curtis King ’16 and Brian Masterson ’16 finished in 106th, 114th and 117th respectively. All four of the runners completed the course in under 25 minutes. Julian Heninger ’17 placed fifth for Dartmouth and 218th in the field of 254. The team placed 24th out of 36 teams in the field with 619 points.

Despite a strong finish, Harwick was not completely satisfied with the team’s performance.

“Tim Gorman [’15], who is normally one of our top contributors, had his back spasm in the middle of the race,” Harwick said. “He finished the race, but if he had been where he usually is, we would’ve done a lot better.”

Talbot was pleased with how the top four men maintained a tight, strong pack throughout the race.

“While I think each of us could have run a few seconds faster, the fact that we finished within 13 seconds of one another over eight kilometers was exactly what we wanted to do in terms of having support throughout the race from teammates,” Talbot said.

Another positive aspect of the race was the Big Green’s strong performance against other Ivy League teams. The Big Green beat Columbia University and Harvard University and finished just one slot below the Princeton Tigers.

“In our first match-up against Princeton for the season, we were nipping at their heels,” Talbot said. “We now know that beating them is well within our team’s ability and the Ivy League title is becoming an increasingly realistic goal for our squad.”

The teams’ focus now shifts to the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Nov. 1 in Princeton, N.J., where both teams will look to claim Ivy titles.

“This Wednesday, we’ll do our only track session of the fall where we run faster than race pace,” Harwick said. “It’s a good physical workout and a good confidence booster, and if we execute that workout well, we can head to the start line feeling good and ready to race.”

At Heps, the women will toe the line at 11 a.m. for the 6-kilometer race, and the men will line up an hour later to complete the 8-kilometer race.