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The Dartmouth
May 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men and women’s cross country competes in 2022 Heps Championship

In preparation for its NCAA regional meet, Dartmouth’s cross country teams exhibited strong finishes at the 2022 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship.

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Courtesy of Corinne Robitaille

This weekend, the men and women’s cross country teams placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 2022 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship on Friday morning at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York. Each team took 12 traveling members, with the men’s team running in the 8k  race and the women’s team in the 6k race. 

In the men’s competition, the Big Green finished with 114  points. Princeton won the day with 38 points at the end of competition. Will Daley ’24 led the way for Dartmouth, finishing in 17th place with a time of 24:44. James Lawrence ’23 finished right behind Daley in 19th place with a time of 24:52.  Declan O'Scannlain ’24, Seth Weprin ’23 and Albert Velikonja ’25 rounded out the rest of the scoring for Dartmouth with strong performances in the top 30 finishers.

The team counted on its experience from crucial meets earlier in the season to physically and mentally prepare for Heps, according to Head Coach Kendra Foley . Competing against diverse teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and against non-Ivy League competitors at the Paul Short Invitational also helped fuel confidence leading into Heps, Lawrence said.

“Our past races and all of our workouts were set up so we would peak at Heps and our regional meet, keeping it controlled so that we wouldn’t overwork ourselves and we would have our best performance at the meets that really mattered,”  Lawrence said. 

The women’s team finished fifth with 98 points, while Harvard University took first with a score of 38. Corinne Robitaille ’23 put in a strong performance for the Big Green, finishing in fourth place overall with a time of 21:04, earning first team All-Ivy Honors. Katherine Strong ’26 finished in 20th, followed by Julia Fenerty ’23 in 21st and Emma Kerimo ’25 in 24th. Finally, rounding out the team was Caroline Livingston ’25 in 29th. 

According to Robitaille, the team knew that Van Cortlandt is an especially difficult course and reached out to Big Green cross country alumni to learn how to best navigate the challenge. 

“Receiving wise words from the alumni about what to remember going into the race was so impactful for our mindsets going into the weekend,” Robitaille said. “Going into the woods, it is easy to get lost in all of the twists and turns — so finding each other and racing together was a goal for us.”

Reflecting on the outcome of race day, Robitaille said that the Big Green played to the team’s strengths at Heps. 

“Our team has a lot of depth—we were the first team to have all 12 of our runners cross the line—so we have a lot of runners doing really well,” Robitaille said. “This is an impressive stat and we will go into Regionals knowing this is our strength.”

After a strong showing at Heps, runners from both teams recognized their continual improvement as the regular cross country season wraps up and NCAA Regionals and the indoor track season come into focus.

“While it is a small conference, the Ivy League is a strong conference so if we were towards the top of the Ivy League it puts us in a position to be very competitive at the regional meet and be in a position to try and make the national meet,” Lawrence said. “Our performance at Heps was definitely a confidence boost for Regionals.”

Robitaille added that the women’s team’s fifth-place finish is an improvement from last year’s sixth-place finish, which has established the foundation for a successful NCAA showing and winter season. 

“Overall, we have a young team with a lot of talented juniors and sophomores and we had a couple freshmen come to Heps and place high,” Robitaille said. “I think that our program has been going through a rebuild phase so I am excited to see what the next seasons have in store.”

In addition, women’s head cross country coach Kendra Foley said that athletes from both teams will look to hone in on their favorite individual events in the indoor season as the cross country season comes to a close. 

“Cross country is such a team sport but once we get into indoor track, athletes can focus on the events they are really passionate about,” Foley said. “This fall, we have been focusing a lot on team goals so to change the narrative [in the winter] and give them a chance to shine individually will be exciting.”

The Big Green will return to Van Cortlandt for the NCAA Northeast Championship on Nov. 11, where they hope to continue to improve their rankings and qualify for the NCAA National Meet.