Women's XC wins at Pineland
Saturday's Pineland Super XC women's meet in New Gloucester should have been called the 2010 Super Sophomore Sprint.
Racing at the Pineland course for the second consecutive week, Colby runners took four of the top five positions in the meet. The women's cross country team defeated New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rivals Bowdoin, Bates and Tufts.
Leading the pack were sophomores Amy Tortorello, Layne Schwab and Berol Dewdney, who swept places first through third with times of 19:12, 19:12 and 19:13, respectively. Co-captain Emma Linhard '11 finished fifth in 19:23 and first-year Allison Rigby came in ninth at 19:29.
Fellow Mules Claire Dunn '13 and Kate Connolly '14 took 11th and 12th in times of 19:30 and 19:31.
Senior co-captain Debbie Merzbach was pleased with the team's performance. "Working hard is imperative to success, and the women's team has been owning at this. We have a number of packs all the way through our ranks that are absolutely unstoppable. Amy's win as a sophomore is also a huge source of confidence for the team. Everyone is training really well right now!"
On the men's side at Pineland, Colby didn't fare as well as the women but still featured strong individual performances.
Three Mules finished in the top 20, with Ben Cunkelman '11, Brian Desmond '13 and captain Andy Maguire '11 leading the Colby harriers in fifth (26:38), 17th (27:13) and 19th (27:21) places respectively over the 8k course-the team's first race of the year at such a length.
Tom Letourneau '13, Matthieu Nadeau '12, Luke Doherty Monro '13 and John Williams '13 rounded out the Mules' top seven, while Mat Cloherty and Dylan Nisky were the top two Colby first-years for the second week in a row.
After the meet, the captain was pleased with his corps' work. "The race was a great step up from last week," said Maguire. "We definitely had the advantage of being very familiar with the terrain after running here last week [against Bates]. We ran well in packs and worked off of each other. Getting to see some more NESCAC competition was valuable for marking our progress through the racing season."
Desmond added, "Not only did we have a lot of PRs (personal records), but we saw a lot of people run intelligently and competitively, which will be extremely important down the stretch.
We aren't going to beat any of the top NESCAC teams, especially at this point in the season, but we are heading in the right direction. The focus is still October and November, and I think our attitude, training and racing is putting us in a great place to perform when those championship meets roll around."
This weekend, both the men's and women's teams travel to Williamstown, Mass. to take on Amherst, Tufts, Middlebury, Connecticut College and host Williams in the Purple Valley Classic.
The Colby women are currently ranked 30th in the country for Division III, with Middlebury (third), Williams (10th) and Amherst (21st) as the only conference schools ahead of the Mules.