Women's Cross Country Places Fifth Out of 20 at InvitationalBy Janis Eisenberg
On Saturday, the women's cross country team competed in the UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational, its first large meet of the season. MIT placed 5th out of 20 teams, with a score of 131.
Coming in ahead of MIT were Trinity College with 67, Southern Connecticut State University with 76, Springfield College with 80, and Bates College with 129.
The large meet was an opportunity for MIT to gauge its position among teams against which it will compete throughout the season. In particular, the team outran its New England Women's 8 rivals Wheaton and Babson Colleges, which finished in seventh and 12th.
The race was run almost entirely on grass fields around the UMASS campus and was extremely flat. The easy course generally led to fast times for the team, although some runners were bothered by the high humidity.
Placing third, Janis Eisenberg '98 finished in 18:36, followed by Shue-Fen Tung '00 who was 15th with a time of 19:13. Debra Won '99 soon followed, in 19:36, which placed her 22nd.
Melanie Harris '01 was the next Engineer to finish, in 19:50 and 31st place; a personal best. Tanya Zelevinsky '99 was next in 63rd with a time of 20:44, a significant improvement over the previous week.
The last three varsity runners came in close together: Robin Evans '99 who was 68th in 20:51, Margaret Nervegna '01 in 71st (21:02), and Leah Nichols '00 in 74th (21:09).
Due to the large number of teams competing there were separate varsity and junior varsity races. In the junior varsity race, Desiree Mirabal '01 was the first MIT runner, finishing in 21:16. She was followed by Lauren McCann '01, with a time of 22:30.
The team will see many of the same competitors on Saturday, when it will run in the Rhode Island College Invitational.