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The Dartmouth
February 22, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Cross country finishes strong in Panorama Farms XC23 Invitational in preparation for Ivy League Heps

The men and women’s cross country teams traveled to the University of Virginia, where the Big Green placed ninth and seventh respectively.

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On Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Panorama Farms XC23 Invitational at the University of Virginia. The nine traveling members of the men’s team and 10  traveling members of the women’s team competed in the 8km and 5km races, respectively.

For men, Wake Forest University won the day with 47 points, followed by the hosting University of Virginia with 68; for women, UVA paced the competition, claiming the top spot with 32 points, while the University of Mississippi nabbed second place with a total of 110. Entering a heat containing larger DI opponents, the Big Green ran effectively, with the men’s team placing  ninth and women’s team taking seventh. As the last race before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship — or Heps —  cross country head coach Kendra  Foley said the team focused on a more aggressive racing strategy. 

“I told both the men and the women to take a little bit more of a risk at this meet because they have nothing to lose at this point and only things to gain,” Foley said. “Going into HEPS, I wanted their confidence to be high and [for them to know] that they can go out and compete with these bigger teams… So I was really excited to see how that worked out for them.”

For the men’s team, Will Daley ’24 led the Big Green with a time of 23:46, placing 20th. Of Dartmouth’s other scorers, Albert Velikonja ’25 finished 41st, Seth Weprin ’23 — the first place finisher in the recent New England championship — took 54th, James Lawerence ’23 placed 62nd and Declan O'Scannlain ’24 earned 70th.

Following the invitational, captain Eric Gibson ’23 noted that the race started particularly quickly, which served as helpful preparation for future competitions. 

“In big championship races when racing [these] teams… , it's going to get out really fast … this past meet — with the first mile around 4:30 — is sort of uncharted territory for our group,” Gibson said. “So, I think this was just good practice, like a dress rehearsal, for Heps … but I think the fitness is there.”

Corinne Robitaille ’23 led the Big Green in the women’s division with a time of 17:04, earning 13th place. Of Dartmouth’s other scorers, Caroline Livingston ’25 placed 40th, Emma Kerimo ’25 claimed 43rd, Esme Huh ’26 earned 47th and Julia Fenerty ’23 took 50th.

Hoping to use this invitational to prepare for Heps,  Fenerty — the women’s cross country captain— mentioned  their goal of running as a pack and finding teammates throughout the race. Fenerty said she appreciates the team’s camaraderie even while competing. 

“[When running, we briefly grab each others’] hand[s] to show them that you're there for them.” Fenetry said. “[Having] someone that you feel so comfortable with come up with you and race with you … builds a lot of trust within the team.”

On Oct. 28, both the men’s and women’s teams hope to prove themselves at Heps.. Last year, the  men and women’s teams took fifth and sixth, respectively. Foley said she looks forward to a stronger performance this time around.  

“It's nowhere near what this group thinks that they can do and what I think that they can do,” Foley said. “We're really excited to show the Ivy League that Dartmouth — who has a long-standing tradition of being a top-notch distance school — [is]working our way back to that, and we should not be counted out.”