Cross country teams race to top-five finishes in NE championships

by Elizabeth Wilson | 10/14/19 2:05am

With just over two weeks remaining until the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the Dartmouth men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Boston this Saturday to compete in the New England Championships. 

The women’s team finished second out of 22 teams at the meet. The team finished with a team total of 65 points and an average time of 18:10 for the 5k course. The Big Green narrowly missed the first place spot; the University of New Hampshire was only two points ahead to take the first place spot. 

The Big Green collected an impressive second place individual finish out of the 154 athletes who competed; Lauren Sapone ’20, the team captain, led the way with a personal-best time of 17:43.7. 

Following close behind in eighth place was Breanna Glover ’22, clocking in with another sub-18 minute time of 17:58, and another personal best. 

The other team finishers who put points up for the Big Green weren’t far behind. Rachel Ludwikwoski ’21 finished in 11th, with a time of 18:11. Julia Stevenson ’20 was 18th with a time of 18:23, Corinne Robitaille ’23 came in 26th with a time of 18:36, and Dianna Vizza ’20 closely followed with a 18:37 mark. 

“The women’s team had a good day at New England’s — definitely an improvement from our last race effort,” wrote head coach Courtney Jaworski in an email statement. “I was impressed by senior captain Lauren Sapone’s battle with [University of New Hampshire fifth-year senior] Shannon Murdock and sophomore Breanna Glover’s ability to work up the field from the mile mark onwards. I think our team is really committed to making the necessary changes needed for a positive outcome at the Ivy League Championships, which is just three weeks away.”

Sapone said that although the weather conditions were not ideal, one of the best things about the team is how they can show toughness even in difficult weather situations. With strong showings in the New England and Ivy League championships she characterized the second place finish this weekend as the norm for the team. 

The Dartmouth women’s team has been performing well over the course of the season. The top three Dartmouth women’s finishers at this meet saw new college bests in the event either in this meet or in the Paul Short Invitational last week. This momentum should help the team in its last few weeks of training before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Nov. 1. 

The women’s sub varsity team also performed impressively, taking first place in the division. Samantha Ford ’23 took first place in this race in 18:42, with teammates Claire Dougherty ’20 and Abigail Brazil ’21 close behind in third and fourth place with times of 18:49 and 18:55. Lauren Archer ’20 was in eighth place, coming in with a time of 18:59, and Anya Hirschfeld ’23 closed out the top 10 with a time of 19:05. Other competitors for the Dartmouth team were Isabella Chao ’22 in 20th, and Macenna Hansen ’23 in 35th. 

The men’s side also saw a strong team effort on the 8k course. Missing the third place spot just two points behind the University of Massachusetts, the men finished in fourth place with 170 points out of 25 teams, and were notably ahead of in-conference rival Yale University. Nicholas Feffer ’21 lead his team with an 18th place finish and a time of 25:26. His teammates Brian Mass ’21 and Dom Repucci ’20 were close behind him in 21st and 26th, with times of 25:29 and 25:35, respectively. Thomas Lingard ’22 was 39th with a 25:54, and Andrew Thompson ’23 was the last team member to score, coming in 66th at 26:14. 

The men’s sub varsity team also posted an impressive performance. Reed Horton ’20 led the pack with a second place finish with a time of 25:39 while James Lawrence ’23 and Isaac Weber ’22 were not far behind, taking the fifth and sixth spots.

After the race, Lingard expressed excitement about the way the team had competed, explaining that the team had been prepped for extremely poor race conditions, but that it did not affect their competitive energy in the slightest. 

“I think we worked well together through the course, pushing each other during the parts where it’s easy to fall asleep,” Lingard said.