Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their seasons strongly this weekend, finishing second and third respectively at the Colonial Inter-Regional Challenge held at the Eastern State Hospital course.
p. Coming in third behind two nationally ranked teams — Virginia Tech and Georgetown University — marks a great start to the women’s season. Senior Emily Gousen finished fourth, completing the 6-km course in 21 minutes and 28.3 seconds. Virginia Tech’s Tasmin Fanning led the Hokies to victory, finishing first ahead of Georgetown’s Melissa Grelli.
p. “It was tough to size up against Virginia Tech’s team,” junior Emily Arena said, “but I think our girls really stepped up and did a great job competing.”
p. Several of Gousen’s teammates also ran well. Sophomore Emily Anderson placed seventh while junior Lynn Morelli took 15th.
p. “Overall we performed very strongly as a team and it looks like we’re in a better place now than we were at this point last year,” Gousen said of the women’s team. “Unfortunately, some of our top runners had to sit out this weekend due to injuries, but once they are back on their feet we will be able to put forward a much stronger, deeper squad.”
p. On the men’s side, the 12th-ranked Tribe fell to 16th-ranked Georgetown as the Hoyas placed six runners in the top 10 finishers with Andrew Bumbalough leading the way. Bumbalough finished two seconds ahead of College senior Ian Fitzgerald who finished with a time of 24:15.3 for 8k. Senior Christo Landry placed third and sophomore Ben Massam finished fifth, with times of 24:19.3 and 24:37.4, respectively.
p. “This weekend was pretty good for us considering most of us were running our first race of the season,” Fitzgerald said. “We have a long season ahead of us and hope to use each meet as a stepping stone on our way to achieving our goals at the end of October and November.”
p. While recognizing that it is early in the season, both the men’s and women’s teams are preparing to put in the needed work to be able to race effectively and competitively in the championship meets further down the road.
p. “We are looking as strong as a team as we have ever been,” senior David Groff said. “And with the work left to do we are going to be going at it with the best in the country, as we have done in years past.”
p. The top 10 runners from each squad will travel to Terre Haute, Indiana Saturday, Oct. 13 to compete in the Pre-National Invitational, while the remainder of the team will remain in Williamsburg to compete in the Tribe Open.