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Cross Country slows at Conn. Invitational

By jr00576

Section: Sports

October 1, 2007

The Mens and Womens Cross Country teams competed this past Saturday at the Connecticut College Invitational in New London Connecticut.

The Mens team hit a bump in the road from its recent success as John Gullinger 08 was forced out of the race due to an injury in his heel. Furthermore, several of the top runners were not competing, and the team was only able to place in the middle of the pack, earning 9th place out of 19 overall. The Women fared better, as they were able to place 6th of the 14 teams competing. Two of the Lady Judges were able to finish the six kilometer course in roughly 24 minutes to give the team high points in the rankings.

The first Lady Judge to cross the line was Katy Agule 09, who was able to finish the race just a hair above 24 minutes. This time was enough to place her among the top 20 competitors. Right behind Agule was teammate Marie Lemay 11, who finished the race with a time of 24 minutes and 6 seconds, scoring 21st place for the judges. Ally Connolly 10 was once again among the top runners, as she placed third for Brandeis with a time of just under 24 minutes and 30 seconds. Finishing off the Brandeis scorers were Emily Owen 11 and Julia Alpaio 10, who placed 58th and 60th respectfully.

The Mens team hit a midseason slump, as injury and lack of depth prevented them from placing high in the order. Top runner Gullinger was racing well until his heel injury became unbearable with about three minutes left in the race;

he was forced to drop out and is now on crutches recovering from the injury. The first Judges to cross the line was rookie Mekonen Gendebo who was able to post a time of 26 minutes and 18 seconds, good enough for 24th place. Teammate Kerwin Vega 11 finished with 26 minutes and 46 seconds to claim 48th overall. Matt Jennings 09, the only upperclassman to score, finished with a time of just under 27 minutes, earning the ranking of 56th overall. The last two scorers were Dan Anastos 11 and Will Collins 10, rounding out the top five for the Judges.

The Womens team was pretty satisfied with its performance, as numerous runners had good times.

The girls races were solid explained Agule, one of the co-captains of the squad. It was the first 6k race for most of the team, so it gave us a good benchmark for our championship races at the end of the season.

Agule also explained that the teams performance was a good reflection on what they can expect in future meets.

The course that we raced onis also the same course as Regionals so it was good to be able to race there once before Regionals, she said.

Members of the Mens team, meanwhile, had mixed opinions about the race.
Our team performance was a little disappointing said Paul Norton 11. Still, if you take into account that we were resting some of our top runners, I think we will do better when it really counts.

Each squad is now entering its championship seasons and will compete in regionals later in October. They will also be competing in the UAA Cross Country Championships, which will be hosted by Brandeis and run at Franklin Park in Boston. This midseason competition still gives the teams plenty of time to improve before bigger meets in the coming weeks.

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