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Women's X-Country Places 5th at Umass

By Lauren Klatsky
Team Member

The women's cross country team finished fifth at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational meet last Saturday.

The UMass-Dartmouth meet is the first large invitational of the season and offers MIT the opportunity to race against some of the best teams in New England. Among the field of 27 teams were Division I Brown University and Division II Southern Connecticut College.

While the experience can be daunting, MIT ended the meet with 129 points, beating a few schools that had defeated them last season, including Springfield College (156 points), Bates College (158 points), and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (184 points).

As the race was delayed a half hour the runners were able to relax and regroup before the gun. Once competition began, MIT elbowed its way into good position when forced to merge 200 meters from the starting line.

Despite warm, sunny weather, patches of mud and wet grass dotted the five-kilometer course. Nevertheless, the Engineers attacked the terrain without hesitation and continued to move farther ahead as the race progressed.

Janis Eisenberg '98 was the first MIT runner to cross the finish line, with a seventh-place finish in a time of 19:10. Lauren Klatsky '97 finished in 12th with a time of 19:23, a 16-second improvement from last season.

Crossing the line in 19:52 in 18th place was Shue-Fen Tung '00, the third MIT runner to finish in the top 20. The final two scorers for MIT were Debbie Won '00 and Robin Evans '99 who took places 39 and 56 respectively in 20:31 and 21:14. Leah Nichols '00 and Tanya Zelevinski '99 rounded out MIT's varsity squad with times of 21:27 and 21:52 to finish in places 62 and 72.

The team seemed to have transcended any anxiety caused by the sheer magnitude of the field and the names written on the jerseys. Coach Joseph Sousa was pleased with the women, saying that they exhibited the qualities of a "true team."

MIT looks forward to tomorrow when they will travel to the Rhode Island College Invitational.