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Women take third at NEW8

By Sharlene Day and Theresa Fuentes

The women's cross-country team placed third in the New England Women's Eight Conference championship meet at Mount Holyoke College on Saturday. Smith College completely dominated the meet, finishing with 23 points and placing five runners in the top eight finishers.

With the exception of 1986, Smith has won the NEW8 title since 1985 when the conference was created. Smith's top runner, Gwen Young, led the field of more than 50 runners, finishing in 17 minutes, 53 seconds. Young shattered the course record of 18:49 in the process of winning. Wellesley's Rebecca Werneck took second, in a time of 18:47, leading her team to a second-place finish, with 61 points.

MIT's captain Theresa Fuentes '91 and Chris Goh '92, were named to the NEW8 all-conference team. Fuentes finished in seventh place, with a time of 20:25, and Goh, in ninth (20:32). Amy Rovelstad '92 was MIT's third runner, finishing 18th overall, in 21:25.

Following Rovelstad were Sharlene Day '91 in 23rd (21:40), Lola Matysiak '91 in 27th (22:02), Gabrielle Rocap '92 in 29th (22:06), and Manisha Desai '94 in 64th (24:08).

Also finishing for MIT were Karen Gondoly '93 and Sharlene Afshani '93.

The women's team has benefited greatly from the efforts of first-year coach Joe Sousa. Sousa has built a strong reputation throughout New England as the track and field coach at Cambridge Ringe and Latin High School.

After the NEW8 championships, Sousa noted that he was "very pleased with the continued weekly improvement and overall attitude of the team.

"We've worked very hard and seem to be peaking at the right time."

One of Sousa's primary objectives in coming to MIT was to get the women's track and field program off the ground.

"We are nearing the end of a successful cross-country season and are looking forward to track and field under coach Sousa," commented Fuentes.

The cross-country team travels to Northfield Mountain Saturday to compete in the All-New England Championships.

(Sharlene Day '91 and Theresa Fuentes '91 (captain) are members of the women's cross-country team.)