After major miscue, women's XC finishes 12th

Women’s Cross Country

Katherine Harris ’15

The women’s cross country team wrapped up its season this past weekend by finishing 12th in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships. The team traveled to the regional championships at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday.

With five seniors and not much to lose in their last cross country meet of their career, the squad decided on a gutsy strategy going into the race.

“Our women went into this meet with very high expectations, especially coming off a great Patriot League Championship race two weeks earlier,” head coach Kevin Donner said. “We decided to take the pace out hard for the first mile.”

The Orange and Blue followed this plan–so well, perhaps, that their strong start actually ended up hurting them a bit in the long run. With many of their top runners at the head of the pack, the Bison followed the lead cart as it made a wrong turn and led many of the fastest runners on the wrong path, which added an extra 600 meters to the race and exhausted many Bison runners after their aggressive start.

Even with this course miscue, the team ended up 12th in a field of 29. The Bison placed six runners in the top 100, with Stephanie Fulmer ’12 and Emily Liggett ’12 leading the way as they came in 50th and 60th, respectively. Other top performers for the Orange and Blue included Alysha Hooper ’12 and Betsy Edinger ’15.

All in all, many of the runners ended up frustrated with the lead cart error and a little disappointed with the team’s overall performance in their last meet. Nonetheless, team members were positive about the hand they were dealt.

“Although we came up a little short, it just shows that each individual put every ounce of energy into the Patriot League Championships,” Fulmer said. “I am extremely proud of the team and could not have asked for a better group of girls to run with. I am also very proud of the fact that with an in-race mess up of the course and running an extra half-mile our girls were able to still focus in and stick to the race plan.”

Donner agreed with this assessment of his team’s performance. Though perhaps not the most ideal outcome for the Orange and Blue, the squad’s strong effort when faced with adversity did not go unnoticed.

“Twelfth place was not where we wanted to be; however, I am proud that our team really went for something big. We had five seniors run their last cross country race and they were a part of some very good teams over the past four years. I am very proud of this group,” Donner said.

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