Cross country teams place eighth

by Manisha Apte | 10/2/11 10:00pm

Facing over 100 teams and 390 competitors, the Dartmouth men and women's cross-country teams both placed eighth at the Paul Short Invitational on Friday, capturing 264 and 301 points, respectively.

Ethan Shaw '12 clocked the highest Big Green time in the men's gold eight-kilometer race, finishing eighth in 24:19. Abbey D'Agostino '14 notched a fourth-place finish with a time of 20:22 in the women's gold six-kilometer race, just behind Providence College sophomore Emily Sisson, who finished in 20:20.

"Most of the meets that we go to have many runners, so it's a little bit intimidating if you think about it in terms of numbers," D'Agostino said. "But I think if you cope with it appropriately, then it's just another race."

The women's field included 396 runners. The Big Green managed to post seven athletes in the top half of all competitors, as Hannah Rowe '14 and Alexi Pappas '12 followed D'Agostino to finish 50th and 59th with times of 21:17 and 21:27, respectively.

Katelyn Walker '14 finished next, clocking in at 22:08 to nab 98th place, and Kaitlyn D'Orazio '13 trailed closely behind, taking the 96th spot with a time of 22:10. Bridget End '14 and Elizabeth Short '12 rounded out Dartmouth's top seven, finishing in 120th and 131st places with times of 22:30 and 22:35.

"As a team we were a little disappointed with the results because in our workouts we've shown how strong we've been doing," D'Agostino said. "We are definitely capable of doing better, and it really takes a toll on the entire team when we're all aware that we can perform better."

While Providence won the Invitational, scoring 101 points, two Ivy League teams finished ahead of Dartmouth. Yale University scored 205 points to finish sixth and Cornell University scored 209 to finish seventh.

The men's competition boasted an even larger field, as 402 runners from over 130 teams around the country competed.

After Shaw, the next Big Green finisher was Brad Kenimer '12, who placed 49th with a time of 25:12. Steve Mangan '14 followed closely in 57th place, clocking in at 25:15. Adam Doherty '13 and John Bleday '14 crossed the finish line a second apart in 77th and 78th place, with times of 25:23 and 25:24, respectively.

"We were expecting to be in the top three, so we were really disappointed with our results," Shaw said. "Very few people were happy with their performance, and it didn't really pan out as we planned."

The University of Oklahoma dominated the men's bracket, securing the second, third and fourth-place finishes, and burst to first-place overall with just 34 points.

Columbia University finished third with 156 points, while Brown University also placed ahead of Dartmouth, scoring 255 points for seventh place. Harvard University followed in ninth place with 279 points.

Both the men's and women's teams are now preparing for the New England Championships, which take place next Saturday in Boston. With a little more than a week to recover from the Paul Short Invitational, the Big Green will rest and recharge for the big competition.

"For the guys running in the Championships, I think they will roll right into that and do well," Shaw said. "We just need to have the same attitude, so for another big race we can put something together and hopefully perform well."

D'Agostino, who won the Dartmouth Invitational, has followed the performance with impressive results but will not be competing in next week's competition so that she can prepare for the NCAA Pre-Meet on Oct. 16. D'Agostino said she has practiced managing increased expectations, and that she hopes her experience can help the team.

"In the spring I learned to deal with pressure and suppress that internally, and to keep myself from getting overwhelmed or freaked out when the standards are high," D'Agostino said. "I think it's important to encourage my teammates to get accustomed to pressure because we're such a different team from last fall."

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