After finishing an impressive third out of 15 at the Allegheny Classic on Sept. 20, the women’s cross country team had a week off to continue preparing for the remainder of the season. With three races already under their belts and an extra week off to practice, the women were primed for a great performance on Oct. 4 at SUNY Geneseo. For one reason or another, however, the Geneseo race proved to be a huge letdown for the team that seemed to be progressing very nicely up to this point. “I felt we took one step forward at Allegheny, two steps backward at Geneseo,”Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said.
Unlike their previous race, where Hartwig praised her team for its intensity and effort to continue to improve as the season progressed, her emotions regarding this weekend’s meet were in stark contrast.
“Last meet I saw intensity and competitiveness out on the course. This time I didn’t think we were focused and I felt there was an overall lack of intensity. Our minds were definitely somewhere else,” Hartwig said.
Whereas last meet they were able to overcome a very muddy and difficult course to finish third at Allegheny, this time around, under similar race conditions, the team wasn’t able to show the same toughness that helped them succeed earlier in the season.
“I thought we greatly underachieved. We got beat by some teams that are not as strong as us – I wasn’t happy about that,” Hartwig said.
Although they ran an extremely tough course under difficult conditions very well just two weeks earlier, the experience didn’t seem to help, as they failed to do the things that made them successful last time.
“We didn’t have good position established, and most people didn’t make any attempt to change their situation,” Hartwig said.
The top finisher for the women was senior Mary LeBrun, who was ninth overall, finishing in 23:55. Senior Erika Wasserstien’s time of 25:09 was second on
See GENESEO, Page 23
the team and 25th overall. She was closely followed by junior Elizabeth Boerman, who finished in 25:16, for 29th place. Senior Lisa Brassaw was 35th, crossing the line in 25:20. Freshman Stacy Allen rounded out the top five with a 51st place finish, with a time of 25:46. Also in the top seven were freshmen Nora Craighead and Rebecca Hayes.
After last race’s improve-
ment in the gap that had plagued the team earlier in the season, they reverted to their old ways this time. “We were very spread out. Our times weren’t entirely different from two weeks ago, and I know we’re in much better shape,” Hartwig said.
The team will have some time to regroup as they don’t have another meet until they host the Yellowjacket Invitational on Oct. 18, their last race before UAA Championships on Nov. 1. Until then, the team will continue to practice and try to do the things that helped them be successful early in the season. “There are too few opportunities to let this go by. I hope we learn from it and move forward. I know we’re a better team [than we showed last Saturday,]” Hartwig said.
Swidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.