Cardinals Runners Excel at New England Cross Country Championships

Cardinals Runners Excel at New England Cross Country Championships

On Saturday, November 14th, the Wesleyan cross country team competed in the New England Regional championships.  Connecticut College hosted the meet, which took place at Harkness Park in Waterford, CT.  The park sits right on the Long Island Sound, and the runners could feel the strong winds off the water on much of the course.  With clear skies and temperatures in the mid-40's, it wasn't a bad day for a November cross country meet.

The women's 6000m race began at 11am.  As was the case with the conference meet two weeks ago, the women's race included a number of nationally-ranked teams, including #2 Williams, #3 MIT, #5 Tufts, #8 Middlebury, #18 Keene State, #21 Amherst, #28 Brandeis, and #32 Wellesley.  The Lady Cardinals had a strong showing, finishing 13th overall out of 56 teams.  Molly Schassberger '17 (Winslow, ME/Winslow) once again led the way for Wesleyan, finishing 46th in 22:42.1.  Following close behind Molly was Caroline Elmendorf '17 (Bethesda, MD/Walt Whitman), who ran 22:47.3 to finish 49th.  Julia Mitchell '19 (Bellevue, WA/The Northwest School) was third for the women, running 23:22.8 for 83rd.  Rounding out the top five for Wesleyan were Juli Riggs '17 (Lambertville, NJ/South Hunterdon Regional) and Rhoen Fiutak '19 (Cape Elizabeth, ME/Cape Elizabeth).  Riggs finished 111th in 23:47.2 and Fiutak finished 119th in 23:56.2.

The men's 8000m race started at 12:30pm and also included quite a few nationally-ranked teams: #2 Williams, #5 Amherst, #8 MIT, #17 Tufts, #30 Middlebury, #32 Wesleyan, and #35 Bates.  The Cardinals ran an excellent race, getting out in good positions and racing hard throughout the tough final miles.  Their efforts were rewarded with a fourth place finish out of 55 teams, only finishing behind Williams, Amherst, and Tufts.  Wesleyan's top five runners all earned All Regional awards for placing in the top 35.  Taylor Titcomb '16 (Port Jervis, NY/Paul D. Schreiber) led the team once again, taking 9th place in 24:57.7.  Will Dudek '17 (Montclair, NJ/Montclair Kimberley Academy) was the next Cardinal across the line, finishing 17th in 25:18.4.  Eric Arsenault '17 (Branford, CT/Branford) and Reid Hawkins '17 (Glen Ridge, NJ/Glen Ridge) finished within a second of each other, with Arsenault running 25:31.8 for 26th and Hawkins running 25:32.4 for 27th.  Nabbing the final All Regional spot was Keith Conway '16 (Newburyport, MA/Newburyport), finishing 35th in 25:39.9.

Eight regional championship meets around the country serve as the qualifying meets for the NCAA Division III National Championships.  The top two teams from each region receive automatic berths to nationals, and 16 additional at-large teams are selected to fill the 32-team field.  The New England region had six teams qualify for nationals in 2014, and the Cardinals are hopeful that their fourth place finish will earn them a spot in the 2015 championships.  The NCAA will make the official announcement at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.  This year's championship meet will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and takes place on Saturday, November 21st at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin.  

You can find full results from the New England regional championships at:

https://www.directathletics.com/results/xc/9203.html

Pictures from the meet will be on our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/wesleyancrosscountry/