Women's XC fourth at NESCACs
These days, when the women's cross-country team competes in New England Small College Athleticâ€ˆConference (NESCAC) meets, it runs with the best teams in the country. Indeed, on Saturday at the Conference Championships held at Hamilton, Colby placed fourth out of eleven teams, behind the likes of Division III's top-ranked Middlebury, third-ranked Williams and 17th-ranked Amherst.
Amy Tortorello '13, who won the State of Maine Championships two weeks ago at Bowdoin, took 10th overall with a time of 22:59.9 over the muddy six-kilometer course to lead the 21st-ranked Mules. Berol Dewdney '13 placed 23rd (23:32.0), co-captain Emma Linhard '11 29th (23:40.6), Claire Dunn '13 36th (23:53.3), Kate Connolly '14 50th (24:05.4), Allison Rigby '14 51st (24:07.8) and Layne Schwab '13 53rd (24:09.6).
“The race was definitely the toughest that we've had all season,” said Tortorello. “The conditions were pretty insane. There were some parts of the course that were so covered in mud that we would sink into above our ankles, and it was really tough to maintain a steady pace.”
For the men, racing on Hamilton's golf course-turned-mudbowl was equally challenging. Although Colby placed last in the conference on Saturday, the team continued its pattern of steady improvement over the past two years.
Ben Cunkelman '11 and captain Andy Maguire '11 ran in tandem, finishing 63rd and 64th overall with times of 27:59.9 and 28:03.0, respectively, over the eight-kilometer course. Chris Halladay '12 placed 69th in 28:08.8, while Matthieu Nadeau '12 (74th, 28:14.3), Luke Doherty-Munro '13 (77th, 28:17.7), Tom Letourneau '13 (78th, 28:18.6) and John Williams '13 (87th, 28:30.7) rounded out the Mules' top seven.
“Because of the soft mud covering the course, Saturday was a battle of efficiency and teamwork,” said Maguire. “It was impossible to continuously move up during the race, which is our usual approach, so we were forced to really push the less soggy sections and the hills to gain advantage over the competitors.”
Said Brian Desmond '13, who finished 89th, “It didn't happen this year, in terms of the points, but we proved we are about a year away from making a splash in the NESCAC. Our team was vibing going in, and five runners [finished with]in about 15 seconds [of each other], eight in 36: that is solid pack running.”
On Saturday, both Colby teams will race their second seven runners in the ECAC Championships at Colt State Park in Rhode Island before heading to Williams for the New England NCAA Qualifier on November 13.