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Women’s cross country places sixth at nationals

After a chilly race at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Wisconsin, the women’s cross country team dominated at nationals, earning sixth place in the country. Having been ranked 11th prior to the meet, the Judges raced their third lowest team score in school history, finishing with 277 points.

As she has all season, Emily Bryson ’19 led the pack of Judges, crossing the finish line at 21:08.03, and finishing the race in fifth place overall. With her stellar performance, E. Bryson earned her fourth All-American Honor, the first Brandeisian athlete to do so in the university’s history. She is also only the 14th woman in all of Division III history to accomplish this feat. Combined with her track performances, E. Bryson has a total of six All-American honors. According to the Brandeis Judges website, Coach Sinead Evans said, “Emily ran the best race she possibly could. She ran out with the leaders and stuck with them.”

E. Bryson’s twin sister, Julia Bryson ’19, finished second for the Judges, running the six kilometer course in 22:17.2, which earned a 64th place finish. During the third and fifth kilometer of the race, J. Bryson improved her pace and placement by 50 spots, helping her secure her position.

Danielle Bertaux ’20 finished closely behind J. Bryson with a time of 22:19.3, landing her in 67th place. Bertaux also made up a lot of distance in the last kilometer of the competition, moving from 90th place to finish in 67th.

Niamh Kenney ’21, who earned an All New-England Honor this past week, finished in 22:25.2, which put her at 81st place overall. She shaved another four seconds off her previous personal record of 22:29.30, which came at the regional meet.

Rookie Jac Guerra ’22, Meaghan Barry ’19 and Doyin Ogundiran ’19 rounded out the runners from Brandeis. Guerra ran a 23:00.2, Barry a 23:24.5 and Ogundiran a 24:06.3, coming in 164th, 214th and 258th place overall, respectively. This race was Guerra’s second best of the season, placing in the top 20 of first year runners at the meet.

At the meet, Brandeis was tied with SUNY-Geneseo for fifth place but ultimately lost in a tiebreaker. The top five scoring runners from each team were compared head-to-head and three of the runners from Geneseo placed higher than the Judges, which cost them fifth place. The Judges placed second amongst the New England Schools, beating out Williams and Middlebury, whom they had lost to at regionals. Third-place MIT was the only New England school higher than Brandeis.

MIT was also the second place team in the University Athletic Association (UAA), the regular season conference Brandeis is a part of. The only team above The Judges was champions Washington University, who edged out two-time defending champion Johns Hopkins by one point.

Evans also told Brandeis Judges, “This year was a testament to the team’s hard work. I told them at the end of last year that we had a chance to have a special year this year. Everyone trained hard over the summer and came back in great shape, and I knew it was going to be a terrific season. To finish eighth in the region last year and sixth at nationals this year, it’s just a way for the seniors—Emily, Julia, Meg and Doyin—to finish out their careers.”

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