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Absence of top runner hurts cross country at MAIAW meet

By Theresa Fuentes

The women's cross country team was unable to defend their Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women title this past weekend at Gordon College. Simmons College finished first with 41 points, followed by WPI with 44, and then the Engineers with 55 points. The women also lost their Wellesley Invitational title to Simmons last week.

MIT suffered heavily from the absence of one of their top runners, Kristen Nummerdor '93. Nummerdor had been running third on the team, but had been bothered by a bad back the past week and did not run on Saturday. If Nummerdor had run, coach Chris Lane believed that the women could have won the meet.

The Beavers have consistently run tighter races than Simmons or WPI, placing their top five finishers before the fifth finisher of the other teams. But with Nummerdor missing, this was not the case on Saturday. This is not a new problem, as it has been difficult keeping the top runners healthy all season.

In order to compete with top rivals WPI and Simmons, the team needs to be running at its best. The Beavers had been defeated by WPI at the Engineers' Cup Invitational, the first meet of the season by a small margin.

Dena Novak of Simmons won the meet in a fast 17:55. The top runners for the Beavers were Chris Goh '92 in fifth place, Theresa Fuentes '91 in sixth, Gabrielle Rocap '92 in tenth, Amy Rovelstad '92 in 12th, and Stacy Holander '92 in 23rd place. This meet also marked the return of Sharlene Day '91, who had been out all season with a back injury.

Goh, Fuentes, and Rocap were all named to the All-MAIAW Team based on these performances.

The women will be competing in the New England Women's Eight Invitational on Friday at Franklin Park in Boston.

(Theresa Fuentes '91 is a member of the women's cross country team.)