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Cross Country Fares Well in First Meet

Junior Varsity Squad Places Sixth, Varsity Aided by Fast Frosh

By Marissa L. Yates


With the largest freshman class in years, coaches Paul Slovenski and Harold B. Hatch led the MIT women’s cross country team to a strong start in the first meet of the year.

Returning varsity runners Martha W. Buckley ’04, Katie R. Huffman ’04, Crystal A. Russell ’03, and Margaret F. Nervegna G are joined by a strong freshman squad with excellent prospects for the coming season.

On Saturday, the women competed in the Umass Dartmouth Invitational against twenty-seven complete teams. In the first race of the morning, the junior varsity team ran exceptionally well, capturing sixth place.

Nancy J. Benedetti ’05 led the MIT women with a 20th place finish in a time of 20:23. Returning sophomore Katie R. Huffman ’04 earned 32nd place with a time of 20:42. Jessica E. Karnis ’05 followed two seconds behind Katie, claiming 33rd place in a time of 20:44.

Christina L. Greene ’05 (47th place), Jennifer A. Gaugler ’05 (59th place), Jenna N. Matheny ’05 (64th place), and Judy Y. Yeh ’05 (91st place) covered the five-kilometer course in 21:09, 21:35, 21:43, and 22:24 (respectively). Jillian L. Dempsey ’05 (103rd place) Raquel Escatel ’05 (104th place), and returning runner Teresa H. Ko ’02 (105th place) formed a pack, finishing within two seconds of each other in 22:57, 22:58, and 22:59 respectively. Sophomore Katie S. Wasserman ’04 raced to the finish in 23:54, claiming 120th place.

In the varsity race, the women captured eighth place, improving over their tenth place finish last year. The women were led by Julia C. Espel ’05 in 18th place and Martha W. Buckley ’04 in 19th place. They raced together throughout the five-kilometer course and finished only one second apart at 18:41 and 18:42. Veronica A. Andrews ’05 (56th place) and Crystal A. Russell ’03 (61st place) formed the next pack of MIT runners, finishing only five seconds apart at 19:37 and 19:42.

Completing the team score, speedy freshman Jennifer J. Deboer ’05 completed the course in 20:14, earning 89th place by narrowly beating another runner across the finish line. First year graduate student Margaret F. Nervegna G (105th place) and junior Marissa L. Yates ’03 (115th place) rounded out the team’s finishes in 20:38 and 20:58 respectively.

After a strong start to the season, the team hopes to continue improving its standing. Next Saturday, the women’s cross country team will race in the Codfish Bowl on their home course in Franklin Park.