Light Weekend Wins

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It was a light weekend all around this past weekend as only one men squad and four women squads opted to compete.  Some of the teams got their first preview of either the HepsXC championship distance or of the course itself.  There will be more time for athletes to get a chance to check out Van Cortlandt Park.  In the meantime, there is also still time to RSVP for HepsXC.  Almost 90 fans have declared their intentions to attend the best conference meet in the country – care to join us?

Main Line Invitational (Haverford, PA) – Nell Smith

The University of Pennsylvania’s cross country teams made their second appearance of the 2015 season at the Main Line Invitational at Haverford College. On Friday evening, the Quaker men posted the second through seventh fastest times on the four mile Alumni Course against six other squads, easily winning the team competition with a score of 20 points. The women’s team fell short of the win coming second to Villanova by a one-point margin, 35 to 36 points.

Junior Nicholas Tuck was the first Quaker to reach the finish line posting a time of 19:28 to place second behind junior Patrick Tiernan (19:16) of Villanova. Sophomore Ross Wilson ran a 19:34, which was good for a third place spot among the attached runners. Senior Clark Shurtleff and sophomore Patrick Hally clocked matching times of 19:36, followed by junior Brendan Shearn (19:42) and senior Brendan Smith (19:47).

The women’s team had a strong finish with five runners placing among the top 15 performers of the invitational. Junior Ashley Montgomery led the Quaker pack finishing the three mile race in 16:38 for third. Sophomore Abigail Hong took fifth with a 16:52, while juniors Cleo Whiting and Clarissa Whiting ran 17:05 (9th) and 17:09 (10th) respectively. Senior Gabby Cuccia finished 13th in 17:26 to round out the race.

Yellowjacket Invitational (Rochester, NY) – Rachel Sorna

On a windy and warm day at Genesee Valley State Park, the Cornell women put fourth another solid effort to claim first at the Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational with 18 points. In their first 6k of the season, the Big Red women dominated the 20 team field by taking 10 of the top 11 places. Junior Taylor Spillane again led her team as a strong second half carried her to the individual title with a time of 21:32.5. Also dipping under 22 minutes with a great effort of her own was senior Caroline Kellner, as she took second in 21:55.3. For the second week in a row, sophomores Erin McLaughlin (4th, 22:05.0) and Shannon Hugard (5th, 22:10.7) continued their breakout seasons with solid scoring performances. Rounding out the top 5 with an impressive run was freshman Gracie Todd (6th, 22:12.4). Cornell’s scoring five was followed by a sea of Red that took 14 of the top 20 spots.

Iona Meet of Champions (Bronx, NY) – Mary Boggs

The #29 Princeton and Yale got a HepsXC preview this past Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park as they competed in the Iona Meet of Champions.  Both teams ran the 6km distance for the first time this season.  While both teams rested their top runners from last weekend’s HYP meet, they both placed in the top six in the team scoring.  The Lady Tigers continued to show their impressive depth as all five of their scorers finished in the top 20 runners.  Senior Emily de La Bruyere was the top Ivy runner, finishing 4th overall in 22:29.3 behind winner Shaelyn Sorensen of #10 Wisconsin.  Frosh Brighie Leach was a step behind, finishing in 5th place with 22:29.4.  Princeton’s other scorers were Kathryn Little (12th, 22:58.2), Nicole Marvin (19th, 23:13.8), and Melinda Renuart (20th, 23:16.6), having a scoring spread of 47 seconds.  Yale’s focus on Saturday was to give some of their younger runners more experience at the 6km distance and racing on the course that will be HepsXC in a little over a month.  Freshman Ellie Atkinson made her season debut on the course and finished 14th overall in 23:00.7 as the Eli top runner. Melissa Fairchild was the next Yale finisher in 23:35.6, which was good enough for 34th overall, followed by freshman Allie Forman in 23:37.0 in 36th place.  Yale’s remaining scorers consisted of Grace Brittan in 40th place (23:46.9) and Chandler Olsen in 46th place (23:57.2), resulting in a scoring spread of 56.5 seconds.  Princeton finished 3rd in the team standings with 60 points as #10 Wisconsin won the overall title with 26 points and Division III #1 John Hopkins edged out Princeton by 1 point for second place.  Yale finished in 6th place with 170 points.

photo by Bill Shearn; full gallery here

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