The women’s cross country team continued its late season struggles on Saturday at the New York State Championships in Saratoga Springs. After last week’s last place finish at University Athletic Association Championships, the women showed mild improvement, finishing 10th in the 15 team field.

“There were elements of the race I thought we handled better, but all of them had pretty discouraging final miles. At the two mile point we were in a much better position as a team than we were at the end of the race. It continues to be frustrating. I know the team is as frustrated as I am,” Head Coach Barbara Hartwig said.

On a day when the team struggled to live up to its full potential, the seniors led the way for the women. With a time of 19:08, senior Erika Wasserstein was first among the women, finishing in 26th place overall. Senior Mary LeBrun came in 40th place, finishing the 6,000-meter race in 19:45. Just five seconds later, senior Lisa Brassaw completed the race, placing 47th with a time of 19:50. Junior Katherine McKenzie was the fourth finisher for the women, finishing in 20:29 to finish 68th. Freshman Charlotte Reardon rounded out the top five, placing 81st and crossing the line in 21:05.

Also competing for the women, sophomore Jessica VanBinsbergen and junior Katrina Gerber finished back to back in 85th and 86th place respectively. One of the main reasons the problems for the team have persisted is the lack of a reason for the slump.

“I think it’s a combination of both mental and physical,” Hartwig said.

Following the disappointment, the team turned its focus to the upcoming meet, the Atlantic Regional Championships. Although the team lately hasn’t run with the confidence that made them successful earlier in the season, there are a number of aspects of the regional meet that play into their favor. Having already competed at SUNY Geneseo this season, the entire team should be comfortable with the course, enabling them to attack it for the entire duration.

Secondly, there are a number of teams that will be competing Saturday that the team has already faced this season.

“We’d like to beat some of the teams that we lost to the past weekend that we defeated earlier in the year. It would be nice to redeem ourselves there,” Hartwig said.

There is also the motivation to try to get to the national championship meet the following weekend, both on an individual and a team level.

“I think it would be great if someone could make it individually. Teamwise I think it would be difficult. It’s a great opportunity because a person or a team that wasn’t heralded can do it on that day,” Hartwig said.

More importantly, the team is motivated to go out – if Saturday is to be their last cross country meet of the season – on a high note.

“I’m hoping we can make what could be our last race a positive experience. If everyone can race strong, I think we can do a lot better as a team,” Hartwig said.

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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