After last weekend’s disappointing performance at SUNY Brockport, the UR women’s cross country team needed a strong showing to rebound and set them back on the right path toward the championship meets at the end of the season.
They did just that on Saturday, as they handily defeated Rochester Institute of Technology and SUNY Fredonia at Genesee Valley Park. With three of the top five finishers, the UR women tallied 29 total points. RIT was second with 45 points, and Fredonia was a close third with 49. Coach Barbara Hartwig summed it up, stating emphatically, “what a difference a week of practice makes.”
The top five finishers for the women remained the same as they were last Saturday, placing in a different order. Leading the way for the women and placing second overall was senior Erika Wasserstein, who finished the five-kilometer race in 20:18.
Last week’s team leader senior Mary LeBrun was second on the team behind Wasserstein and third overall for the second consecutive week, finishing the race in 20:24.
Junior Elizabeth Boerman, running what Hartwig called “the best race I’ve seen her run here,” was third on the team and fifth overall, completing the course in 20:36. Hartwig called it “a very aggressive performance,” adding “she got a very good result to show for it.”
Rounding out the top ten overall were freshman Stacy Allen and sophomore Jessica VanBinsbergen, who finished in 21:05 and 21:12. Also adding to the scoring were freshman Rebecca Hayes, who ran a time of 21:38, and sophomore Kate Pohlman, who finished the race in 21:40.
Hartwig said she was “very pleased with the race, more so with our performance than scores.”
Going back to last week’s disappointment, she said “a week ago we just didn’t have the intensity and the toughness we needed.
When we got to the difficult part of the race at Brockport I don’t think we were ready physically or mentally to handle it.”
This time, however, she said she could “see it in their eyes when they were racing, which was to be expected,” adding “mentally and physically we were sharper on Saturday.”
The subject quickly jumped to the upcoming meet at the Allegheny Classic, which Hartwig described as “a very competitive invitational with eleven schools.” Additionally, she added, “it’s going to be a step up in the distance and it’s going to be one of the toughest meets we see all year.” For that reason, she said the team “is going to have to be even sharper again this weekend.” With the emphasis of the cross country season on the team’s performance in the postseason events, this will act as a good early season test as to how well the team can compete under difficult conditions. If the team improves as much this week as they did during the previous week of practice, it should make for a very competitive meet.
Swidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.