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Women's X-Country Finishes Strong

By Janis Eisenberg
Team Member

The women's cross country team made a strong showing at the Rhode Island College Invitational on Saturday. MIT placed fourth with 106 points. Division II Southern Connecticut won the meet, scoring 57 points. MIT's perennial rival, Wellesley College, placed second (81) followed by Coast Guard (91). A total of 16 teams scored in the meet which made for a crowded race, especially at the start.

The meet was held at Goddard Memorial State Park, on the Rhode Island coast. The course was the most challenging that the team has run on so far this season. It consisted mainly of sandy trails on bluffs overlooking the ocean. While the terrain wasn't especially hilly, times were generally slow due to the uneven footing. Although the nature of the course made running more difficult, the scenery and the proximity of the ocean made the site a favorite of the team.

The meet was quite competitive; more so than in previous years. As a whole, the team performed better than last season, with every returning member improving her time. However, MIT placed lower than last year's 2nd place finish.

Janis Eisenberg '98 was the first Engineer to finish, in 6th place with a time of 19:36. She was followed closely by Debra Won '00, who placed 8th in 20:05. Shue-fen Tung '00 came in at 20:25 for 18th place, narrowly beating a Wellesley runner. Melanie Harris '01 was the next MIT finisher, in 33rd place with a time of 21:06. As in previous races, the next set of MIT runners raced in a pack. Robin Evans '99 was 50th (21:39), followed by Margaret Nervegna '01 in 53rd place (21:48), Tanya Zelevinsky '99 in 54th (21:48), and Leah Nichols '00 in 57th, (21:52). Also running together were Jantrue Ting '00, finishing 71st (22:13) and Desiree Mirabal '01 in 75th (22:20).

The team will host its next competition, the National Previews, at its home course, Boston's Franklin Park. This race is a precursor to the Division III Nationals, which also will be hosted by MIT. Teams from throughout the country will be at the Previews, scoping out the course before Nationals, making for an exciting race.