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Cross Country Earns Mention in DIII Poll

By Jennifer DeBoer


After strong finishes in last Friday’s All-New England race, the women’s cross country team broke into the elite Division III rankings, receiving one vote in the rankings for this week.

The poll, voted on by member coaches in the New England Division III Conference, ranks the top ten teams, and also includes those teams receiving any votes. Middlebury topped the list, followed by Williams and Amherst.

The race included not only the teams included in the poll, but also area Division I and II teams such as Harvard, Brown, and Boston University. The field included 41 teams, each competing with seven runners in the varsity race.

Leading the MIT team was Martha W. Buckley ’04, who finished 66th overall. Her final time, 19:27, was quick enough to earn her an honorable mention in the Division III polls. At the Wellesley meet last week, Buckley’s time of 19:32 and her second place finish earned her the title of NEWMAC Runner of the Week.

Currently, the Engineers are holding on to the number one spot in the NEWMAC rankings after grabbing it from Wellesley two weeks ago.

Julia C. Espel ’05 came in second for MIT with a time of 19:50, 105th place overall. Veronica A. Andrews ’05 and Lynn K. Kamimoto ’05, working together throughout the race, finished within .01 seconds of each other at 20:21 and 20:21.01 respectively, 151st and 152nd place.

MIT’s team, the second youngest in the conference, greatly improved its overall place from last year. The team dropped 350 points, the biggest turnaround for any of the teams at the Championship.

“Now that was cross-country!” Coach Harold B. Hatch said.

Rounding off the varsity were Margaret F. Nervegna G with a time of 20:38 and Katie R. Huffman ’04 right behind her, at 20:38.01. The two placed 173 and 174 respectively. Crystal A. Russell ’03 finished 180th with a time of 20:45.

The team is now looks toward the end of the season. Coach Paul Slovenski is hopeful about the team, though he admits the pressure is on MIT to perform.

“Times like these call for a decisive hit in order to separate out any supposedly even parties,” Slovenski said.

NEWMAC Championships are October 27th at Franklin Park, located at the last stop on the orange line. The women’s race starts at 2:00 p.m.

The only conference team MIT has not yet beaten is Wheaton. Slovenski hopes to concentrate on the Wheaton and Wellesley teams to succeed at the Championships.

“Let’s not even make it close,” Slovenski said to his team. “We’re hoping to claw our way past those who have done it to us in other conference championships.”