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Women's Cross Country Finishes 22nd at Meet

By Lauren Klatsky
team member

The women's cross country team finished in 22nd place at the New England Championship meet held at Franklin Park on Friday.

MIT faced some of the best teams in the country, including Dartmouth College, Boston University, Williams College, and the nation's number one ranked team from Providence College.

The Engineers fared pretty well against the other Division III schools at the meet, beating Amherst College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Connecticut College.

In addition to the 35 teams competing, there were also numerous spectators at the meet, both friends and running buffs who were spread out over the 3.1-mile course to watch the athletes. Commentary was broadcast via loud speakers at the finish line to inform the spectators of team rankings and keep them abreast of the progress of the race.

The runners were blessed with ideal conditions under which to compete. Even though the sun shone brightly, temperatures remained in the mid-50s. The ground on the mostly grassy course was hard from dry weather over the past week, making for a faster running surface.

The course at Franklin Park is a local favorite. While it features the infamous "Bear Cage Hill" at the midpoint, the terrain is mostly flat and fast. Runners complete three loops, two of which take them over grassy fields and one of which leads them into a pleasant wooded area.

The race culminates in a 600-meter circuit around an open playing field and a straight path to the finish line. The first Engineer to complete the course with a personal best time of 19:16 was Lauren Klatsky '97 in 79th place.

She was followed by Janis Eisenberg '98 who finished 91st in 19:30. Shue-Fen Tung '00 crossed the finish line in a time of 20:06 to finish in 128th. Debbie Won '00 and Robin Evans '99 were MIT's final scorers in 155th and 157th places with times of 20:33 and 20:37, respectively.

Leah Nichols '00 and Tanya Zelevinski '99 finished together to claim the 177th and 179th positions as the clock registered 20:54 and 20:56.

Everyone enjoyed the race and was pleased with her time. The Engineers travel to Smith College for the New England Women's Eight Conference Championship this coming Saturday.