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Women’s Cross Country Takes 16th at New England Regionals

By Deborah S. Won

The MIT women’s cross country team concluded its season by placing 16th at the New England Division III Regional Championships. Thirty-seven teams competed in the meet held at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth on Saturday, November 13.

As is typical of large championship meets, the race started at an extremely fast pace, as evidenced by the fastest first mile splits of the season for the most of the Tech harriers. The team did a good job of maintaining their close group running.

To qualify for Nationals, an individual had to be one of the top 8 finishers excluding members of national qualifying teams. Deborah S. Won ’00, MIT’s top runner, placed twenty-first with a time of 18:23 and was unable to qualify for Nationals.

The freshman force once again came through for the Tech harriers, as they brought in MIT’s second through fifth runners. Marissa L. Yates ’03 and Patrisha M. McAndrew ’03 both had superb sub-20 minute races, placing 61th and 87th, respectively. Yates set a personal record of 19:18, while McAndrew came within 3 seconds of her PR at a 19:48.

Crystal A. Russell ’03, another promising freshman, finished one-hundredth with a time of 20:13. Melanie L. Harris ’01 proved unstoppable as she completed the race even after losing her shoe in a a big patch of mud in the first 600m. Despite losing focus on the race while thinking about her footing, Harris finshed the race with a time of 20:27, one shoe, one muddy sock, and a heck of a lot of grit and determination.

Jantrue Ting ’00 completed a fantastic season with a very respectable finish in 20:38 and 135th place. Margaret F. Nervegna ’03 also finished well in 149th with a time of 20:55.

However, Coach Jean Cann “is proud of how the team showed strength in togetherness -- the runners’ positions within the team changed several times and teammates pulled each other along.”