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Eisenberg, Women's X-C Make MIT History

By Agnieska Reiss
Team Member

The women's cross country team made history at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III New England championships at Gorham Park, Maine last Saturday, placing higher than ever before with an 11th place finish, out of 33 teams.

MIT's top runner and New England Women's Eight Conference Champion Janis Eisenberg '98 had a fabulous race, and became the first MIT woman ever to qualify for the National Championships.

There was much rejoicing on the ride home, as the whole team had run very well.

Coach Joe Sousa was very happy with the results of the day, as well as with the season as a whole. He said, "I was standing by the finish line, and my athletes were just flying by. We came to Maine to show that we are a competitive team, and we did just that. We've worked hard all season and have done very well. I couldn't be happier."

Saturday's race got off to a good start for MIT. The weather was perfect and the course was dry and fast.

When the gun went off, Eisenberg sprinted to the front of the 223 runner field, determined not to get stuck in the crowd. She soon realized that she should not be leading, though, and settled down with a small pack of front runners.

Eisenberg kept a 5 minute, 55 seconds per mile pace over the 3.1 mile course and barely edged out her nearest competitor at the finish. She came in 11th with an Institute record time of 18:20.

MIT's next runner, Marjie Delo '95, ran her best race of the season to finish off her four-year varsity career, finishing 36th in 19:06. Lauren Klatsky '97 broke the 20-minute mark to come in 68th in 19:49.

Cynthia Mowery '95 put in a personal best 20:24 race, which was good for 91st place.

"The race was really fun. I just went out hard and tried to keep an even pace. I like this course a lot," Mowery said.

Agnieszka Reiss '95 was close behind Mowery. She too made her last race the best of the season and finished 99th in 20:39.

Evelyn Kao '95 ran a huge personal best and finished 132nd in 21:22, the result of good training in the pre-season and hard work over the past few months. AnnMarie McAninch '96, who has been battling several injuries, ran a very strong race for MIT. She was able to put together one of her best performances of the season and ran 22:10 to finish 166th.

The race was a fitting ending to a very successful season for MIT. The Engineers finished with a 72 small meet record, and were second in the NEW-8.

Not everyone is done, however. This weekend, Eisenberg will travel to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for the National Championships.