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Cross Country has both teams looking

By jr00576

Section: Sports

November 2, 2007

After months of training and a season that contained numerous ups and downs, the Mens and Womens Cross Country teams finally competed at the UAA Championships on Saturday. The meet was hosted by Brandeis and took place at Franklin Park in Boston. The weather was not at all ideal for running, as rain slowed some times. Nevertheless, the Judges did well at the meet in what is one of the most competitive Division III Cross Country conferences in the nation.

The Men were able to place fifth of the eight teams present at the meet, and were only three points shy of claiming third. The team ran well, and the Rookie of the Year for meet, Mekonen Gendebo 11, was a Brandeis runner. The Women were able to place sixth at the meet out of a field of eight squads. The team did relatively well, especially considering the conditions of the meet.

The Men ran well, although their top runner John Gullinger 08 had to fall out near the end due to ankle problems. The first Brandeis runner to complete the race was Gendebo 11 who was able to cross the line in 25 minutes and 47 seconds. This was good enough to earn him 9th place for the Judges. Gendebo also claimed second team All-Conference for his performance, the only first-year to claim this citation.

The next Judge to finish the race was Matt Jennings 09, who finished in 21st place for Brandeis. Close behind Jennings was teammate Mike Stone 09. Stone crossed the line in 26 minutes and 15 seconds, good enough to earn him 26th place. At Stones back was rookie Paul Norton who finished the race just six seconds after Stone. This was good enough to give 31st place to Brandeis. The last Judge to score was another first-year, rookie Dan Anastos. He placed 37th and crossed the line with a time of 26 minutes and 33 seconds.

The Women also had a relatively strong showing at Franklin Park. The team was led by rookie Marie Lemay, who was the first Brandeis runner to place. She was able to finish the race in 24 minutes and 14 seconds earning the Judges 23rd place. Finishing next for Brandeis was teammate and Co-Captain Katy Agule 09. Agule was right behind Lemay with a time of 24 minutes and 19 seconds, earning the Judges 25th place.

The next Judge to cross the line was rookie Hannah Lindholm, who finished in 24 minutes and 34 seconds earning 30th for Brandeis. The last two runners to score from Brandeis were classmates Beth Pisarik10 and Ally Connolly10. They finished close together, and scored 32nd place and 34th place respectively.

The Womens team was pretty satisfied with its performance this past weekend.

The UAA Championships went well said Agule, but the weather was interesting. Agule went onto explain that the conditions included pouring rain for most of the day, but the course wasn't affected by the rain too much.

We all ran pretty solidly, continued Agule. We are also looking forward to our regional meet where we will compete against schools in our area and can judge how we improved over the season compared to past times and placements. She also explained that their two week break will give us time to recover from UAAs and finish preparing for regionals the best we can.

The Men were also relatively content with their performance last weekend.

I think it was a big improvement from the last time we competed at Franklin Park said rookie Zachary Schwartz. The biggest setback to the team was that John Gullinger dropped out due to ankle problems.

Schwartz went on to say I think we can definitely improve upon our performance next meetwe definitely have a chance at making nationals.

The Judges have this weekend off before competing in the Regional Championships. If the teams are unable to make nationals, this will be their final meet of the season until track competitions begin in early December. The UAA Championships, however, were a good indication of the seasons running and demonstrates potential for the few remaining meets of the year.

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