Cross country teams place in the top three at Keene State Invitational

October 11, 2019

Just two weeks after the Judges’ last race at UMass Dartmouth (UMD) Invitational, Brandeis went off to compete in the Keene State Invitational last weekend. The Brandeis cross country team had a strong performance, with the men’s team placing in second and the women’s team placing in third.

On the men’s side, the Judges had two out of the top three finishers: Mark Murdy ’21 and Matthew Driben ’22. Murdy only came in seven seconds behind the winner with a time of 26:04.4. In his last race, he was also the top finisher among the Judges, finishing the UMD 5-mile course in 25:30.21. Moreover, Murdy took about 36 seconds off of his time from his rookie season on this same course. Driben was only four seconds behind his teammate, winning third place with an impressive time of 26:08.3. For Driben, coming in third was his highest placement as a collegiate athlete.

The Judges also had two other team members who placed within the top 25 runners. Captain Dan Curley ’20 finished in 26:52.1, while Alec Rodgers ’20 came in closely behind 27:09.7, coming in 17th and 23rd respectively. Both these two seniors ran their best collegiate finishing time for a 5-mile course. Curley set his personal record by just about a second, while Rodgers missed his personal record by just four-tenths of a second. The other top five finishers for the Judges that helped the men’s team place second overall included rookie Casey Brackett ’23, who finished the race in 27:45.4. 

To sum it up, the Brandeis men’s team finished with 83 points, just five ahead of UMass Dartmouth and 29 behind the winners from Williams College, who had all of their top five finishers placing in the top 20. 

On the women’s side, the top finisher for Brandeis was Danielle Bertaux ’20, who ran for the first time this season at the Keene State Invitational. She placed eighth overall, with a time of 18:38.0 on the 5k course. She cut 21 seconds off of her personal best 5k from last year, making it her second time breaking 19 minutes. 

Erin Magill ’22, who was the top finisher at the UMD invitational last week at 18:54.59, again finished the 5k course within 19 minutes. She ran with a time of 18:44.4, making her good for 12th place. She broke her personal record from last week by ten seconds.

Andrea Bolduc ’21 also finished within the top 20, crossing the line at 19:09.6. She cut her rookie season’s time in this specific race by nearly a half-minute. Hannah Walsh ’22 came in fourth for the Judges, finishing the race with a time of 19:50.8. She was in 43rd place overall. Walsh broke 20 minutes on a 5k course for the first time, cutting nearly one minute off from last week’s race. 

Leinni Valdez ’21 was up next, placing 54th as the last of the top five finishers for the women’s team. She ran about a half-minute faster than her rookie year on the same course, and helped the team score 131 overall. The final score for Judges had them tied at fourth place with Westfield State University, but ultimately they advanced into third after tie-breakers were decided.
The Brandeis cross country teams will return to action next week on Oct. 19th, as the men will head to the Connecticut College Invitational, while the women will send some runners along with the men and the other to Kollege Town Sports Invitational at UW-Oshkosh in Wisconsin. These are the last competitions before the big stage at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships.

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