The Brown Lady Bears are looking to improve their seventh place finish from last year’s HepsXC this upcoming Friday. Based on what we see of the season so far, it is quite possible. Brown had two Second-Team All-Ivy honorees last year – Lucy Van Kleunen and Natalie Schrudowitz. Both women are back this year and will be leading the Lady Bears this Friday.
Schudrowitz is eyeing First-Team honors this Friday. In fact, she is a dark horse contender for the individual HepsXC title. She was the #3 Ivy finisher at the Battle of Beantown; five seconds back of Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano and seven seconds back of Harvard’s Courtney Smith. But she really blossomed at Pre-Nationals, where she used a strong second half to break into the top 10 and finish seventh overall in a national caliber field and a step behind of All-American 5km runner Erin Finn of Michigan. Schudrowitz was a steeplechaser this past spring, so her strength could really help on the hilly Bronx course.
Taylor Worthy has also shown significant improvements since the 2014 cross country season. She’s finished as either the #2 or #3 runner for the team this season. She didn’t even make the HepsXC roster last year and is primarily known as a mid-distance runner. Van Kleunen, Lydia Davenport, Victoria O’Neil, and Megan Ratcliffe do carry over HepsXC racing experience from last year. They should be able to provide valuable advice to rookies Carleen Jeffers and Emma Sloan as they face their first real Ivy League conference competition. This balance of experience and improvements could definitely help Brown try to break out of the bottom half of the conference standings come Friday.
photo by Michael Scott