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Women’s cross country sets off on a winning foot

By Zach Cihlar

Section: Sports

September 8, 2017

Brandeis’ women’s cross country team took six of the top eight spots at the Wellesley College Invitational 5k run over the weekend. The team was just one point shy of a perfect score, with four Brandeis women earning the top four spots.

Runner Emily Bryson ’19 led the pack almost 30 seconds ahead of her sister Julia Bryson ’19, who took the second place position. Emily Bryson’s leading time was 18:31.8, while Julia Bryson earned the next spot with a 18:58.8 time.

Following shortly behind the Brysons were Meaghan Barry ’19 in the third position and rookie Niamh Kenney ’21 in fourth. Kenney’s debut collegiate race saw her timed at 19:33.9, while Barry started her third season with a 19:32.7 race.

Beginning the season ranked at the #33 spot in the nation, the team has quite a bit to look forward to in the upcoming season. The prospective success has the team more determined than ever to make an impact in the University Athletic Association (UAA), as well as a spot in the national rankings.

“It’s easy to get caught up in rankings early in the season,” E. Bryson warned. The fact that the team is nationally ranked does not seem a source for added pressure, the junior said. “It’s a long season so I think it’s important for now we just focus on one meet at a time.”

After barely missing out on a nationals spot last year, the team seeks to redeem the loss and look for an invitation to the meet this season. They will take that mindset with them as the focus their energies on a strong showing in the postseason at the UAA Conference tournament in late October and regionals in early November before a possible nationals showing.

“We have a much younger team this year than we’ve had in years past,” E. Bryson noted, leaving quite a bit of time and room for development. The team looks forward to the greater potential that this seems to offer the team not only in the 2017 season, but for a few seasons to come.

Brandeis’ women’s cross country team is set to compete in three more invitationals before heading to New Jersey for the UAA Conference tournament. They will run at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Cross country is a marathon, not a sprint, and the lady Judges are in it for the long haul.

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