Well past the half way point in their seasons, the men’s and women’s cross country teams split up this past weekend, with runners traveling to both the Wisconsin Invitational on Friday and the Princeton Invitational on Saturday.
At Princeton, the men’s team placed seventh overall in a field of 24 teams, while the women’s team finished in a field of 25 teams.
In Wisconsin — on the men’s side — the Red finished 43rd overall in a field of 45 of the country’s most competitive teams, while the women’s team finished fifth overall in a field of 48 strong teams, including six of the top-ten ranked teams in the nation.
Women’s cross country coach Artie Smith ’96 was excited at how well his team performed at the Wisconsin Invitational.
“It was terrific,” he said. “We took our top group to Wisconsin. It was the most competitive meet that we’ve been to this season. It was a phenomenal field of competitors. Our performance was terrific, fifth place in that field against those teams. It reaffirmed that we were worthy of that top-ten ranking in the country.”
Senior co-captain Katie Kellner was the Red’s top performer in Wisconsin, and was happy to have the chance to compete against such strong teams.
“It was incredible,” she said. “This was the most competitive field that I’ve ever personally competed against. It was great to get some experience against quality teams.”
According to men’s cross country coach Zeb Lang ’03, an unfortunate accident set his team back at Wisconsin.
“It certainly wasn’t our brightest moment of the fall,” he said. “The guys took a nasty spill in the first 200m of the race. About half of our runners went down.”
Still, Lang feels sure that his team will be able to respond in the weeks to come from this bump in the road.
“I told my guys afterwards that our season will be defined by how we come back from adversity,” he said. “Every time [something bad] has happened, someone else has stepped up.”
Scoring for the men’s team at Wisconsin were junior Max Groves (175th), junior Gabe Heck (238th), senior Nick Wade (240th), senior Brett Kelly (247th) and sophomore Ben Potts (259th). Scoring for the women’s team were senior Katie Kellner (15th), junior Rachel Sorna (22nd), junior Emily Shearer (38th), junior Devin McMahon (85th) and senior Gena Hartung (104th).
The top performers for the men’s team at Princeton were junior John Schilkowsky (seventh), freshman Ben Rainero (30th), sophomore David Melly (48th), freshman Sam Baxter (58th) and freshman Brian Eimstad (60th). Scoring for the women’s team were freshman Claire DeVoe (20th), freshman Bori Tozser (24th), junior Elizabeth Simpson (26th), freshman Maggi Szpak (28th) and senior Kelsey Karys (34th).
The Red has one more stepping stone left in its season before heading to the Heps finals, and that is its lone home meet of the season. The Red will be hosting the John Reif Memorial Run this Friday, Oct. 19th at the Moakley Course.