Women's XC runs well in two meets

By Katherine Harris

Contributing Writer

The women’s cross country team sent its top 10 runners to the muddy Penn State National Invitational, competing against Patriot League Rivals Lehigh and Colgate, as well as No. 19 West Virginia and other top programs from around the country. The Bison took 11th as a team, with Alysha Hooper ’12 taking the 51st spot overall, and Stephanie Fulmer ’12 and Kelly Grosskurth ’12 also placing the top 100.

“This past weekend was true cross country and we walked away covered in mud,” Hooper said. “We wanted to do better than we did, but our team is still developing in the right direction. For the next two weeks we will have one focus: Patriot Leagues.”

While those who competed at Penn State rested, on Saturday other Bison ran against some top Division II and III teams. Placing second out of 31 schools, the second squad for the Orange and Blue had many top finishers, including Katie Jessee ’15. With her second consecutive top 10 finish, Jessee was the first rookie and the sixth overall runner to cross the finish line.

“We ran with a lot of guts and conviction. I was very pleased, especially with Katie Jessee,” Head Coach Kevin Donner said. “She is starting to really develop into a distance runner.”

From here, the Bison are setting their sights on the Patriot League Championships looming just around the corner. With no meets this upcoming weekend, the team will be focusing all efforts on making sure it is completely prepared to compete for that top spot on Oct. 29 at Lehigh.

“As we move forward, the team needs to continue to work on mental toughness,” Fulmer said. “We expect individuals to step up and rise to the occasion of Patriot League’s and place themselves in a position to help us win. We are training under the notion that the Bison always come through, when it matters most.”

Donner also emphasizes the importance of the team’s mental state as they head into the final stages of the season.

“We are not exactly where we need to be, but we are getting closer. The muddy conditions affected a few of our runners more than others, however it was there for the entire field, so we cannot use it as an excuse. We are expecting muddy conditions at Patriot Leagues on Oct. 29 and we are going in with the intentions of winning,” Donner said.

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