|Ephs Repeat as Little Three Champions|
|October 22, 2005|
|click here for photos of the women's team|
The cross country women took a decisive victory to defend their Little Three title Saturday, scoring 23 to best Amherst’s 56 and Wesleyan’s 61. Captain Caroline Cretti ’06 led the Ephs to the win, earning the individual title in 17:58. Soccer fields that continued to be flooded after weeks of rain prompted a rerouting of the traditional 5K course, resulting in a slightly flatter, faster course and numerous personal records for the women’s team. Although the course was still muddy in parts, the massive puddles from last week’s meet had since dried up, clearing the way for faster races.
Williams exhibited some impressive packs of runners en route to the win. Michelle Rorke ’06 finished fourth in 18:07, leading a string of six Eph harriers who swept the fourth through ninth places. Liz Gleason ’08 came in at 18:26 and Mallory Harlin ’08 took sixth in 18:53. A trio of three very strong first-years completed Williams’ top seven: Becky Davies ’09 at 19:06, Lauren Philbrook ’09 at 19:11, and Gillian Tedeschi ’09 in 19:17. Amherst had a large pack of their own, which was employing some interesting racing strategies. Harlin and Gleason, among others, ran with the Amherst pack for the first mile. At that point, “Liz just moved ahead through their pack, and I followed her,” said Harlin. The Amherst pack ultimately finished five seconds behind Tedeschi and a second behind the next Williams runner, Julie McNamara ’09. McNamara has been improving rapidly throughout the season and had a particularly outstanding race effort on Saturday. Amherst’s Shauneen Garrahan, who ran part of the early race within a pack of her teammates, later kicked it in five seconds behind Cretti for second place. To some, Garrahan appeared to be “tempoing” the first bit of the race.
Finishing in the midst of the Amherst pack were Lisa Davenport ’07 for twentieth place at 19:33, Kaitlin Rees ’07 for twenty-third at 19:41, and twenty-fifth placed Sara Morrissey ’07 in 19:44. Rees was surprised at the odd tactics used by Amherst runners during the race. “One girl literally stopped running and waited for her teammate to catch up with her before continuing,” said Rees. To many, it seemed that the pack was purposefully slowing down to the speed of the slowest runner. Amherst’s focus on teamwork was taken to an extreme: “These two Amherst girls said aloud ‘OK, let’s surge past her on this hill,’ and they did it about four different times to me, since I kept passing them back,” noted McNamara. Captains Andrea Burke ’06 and Cretti both noted on Thursday before the meet that Amherst tends to use confusing racing strategies. They advised the Williams women to ignore these tactics and simply run their own races. This sage advice certainly suited the lady Eph harriers well, allowing them to focus on moving up smoothly through Amherst’s ill-fated pack.
As always, Williams parents were out in force at Little Three’s, bringing great enthusiasm to their cheering in the chilly weather. The parents generously provided a wonderful post-race spread of food, which was well-appreciated by all. The team is very thankful to the mother of Thomas Brennan ’05 (men’s team captain) for organizing this buffet. Next weekend the cross country women will travel to Wesleyan to contest the NESCAC Championship.
Little Three Women’s XC Championship 2005
Women’s 5K Results School Time
1. Williams 23