The women’s cross country team placed second among the 21 teams that competed in the Iona Meet of Champions on Saturday. The Red’s five runners placed among the top-24 finishers at the race, which was held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Cornell was led by senior Marie Parks, who had the fifth best individual time among the 224 competitors in the field. She clocked in with a time of 22:14.2 on the 6000-meter course.
“I was pretty excited,” Parks said. “I was more happy with how close our top-5 people were on the team.”
Senior captain Aeriel Emig also said she was pleased with how well the team’s top runners performed.
“I was happy that our team did really well,” Emig said. “Our top-5 were all within 40 seconds of each other and that has a really positive outlook for the future, since we’re all running so close together and up in the front.” [img_assist|nid=31997|title=Grin and bear it|desc=Sophomore Shannon Holm shows her grit on a hill during the Reif Memorial Run on Oct. 19, 2007.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Emig finished 13th overall and second for the Red with a time of 22:39.8. Sophomore Kim Standridge finished third for the Red and 16th overall. Junior Stephanie Pancoast finished less than two seconds behind Standridge and placed 18th overall. Rounding out the scoring for Cornell was senior Fiona Cundy, who placed 24th.
“I was pretty pleased [with my performance],” Cundy said. “As a team, we did really well. We also got second last year, but I think this year it was more of a competitive meet. I think everyone ran really smart. We had kind of a different course this year so it was a nice change, it made the race different than it usually is.”
Cundy referenced the change in the course, which was a result of construction that interfered with the usual route at Van Cortlandt Park.
“It’s definitely different than in previous years, but I think it was a good change,” Emig said. “People were a little less nervous because we knew we couldn’t compare [our results] to last year, so there were fewer expectations.”
Parks noted that the course was slightly hillier than in years past, mainly due to one large hill which the runners had to climb twice — a departure from years past when runners were only required to ascend the hill one.
Penn State won the race decisively with five finishes in the top 17 and three runners in the top-7. Penn State sophomore Leah Rosenfeld won the 6k event with a time of 21:54.7. Boston College, Kent State University and Kentucky finished in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively. Penn joined Cornell in representing the Ivy League and finished in sixth place. Cornell had seven runners – the top-5 plus sophomore Katie Sullivan and freshman Meghan Brown – finish ahead of Penn’s second-best finisher, senior Kinjal Parikh.