Despite having their top runner, junior Christina Michael, out for the remainder of the season, the women’s cross country team posted a solid performance at the University Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at Genesee Valley Park.

The team totaled 148 points to place fifth out of eight teams.

The meet was won by Washington University in St. Louis, which placed all five of their point scorers in the top 10.

They combined for just 22 points.

Emory University was second with a total of 36 points.

The University of Chicago was a distant third, as they accumulated 106 points.

With 118 points, Case Western Reserve University was fourth.

Behind UR in fifth was Brandeis University with 156 points.

New York University and Carnegie Mellon University were seventh and eighth with 166 and 191 points, respectively.

UR was led by freshman Kellie Hasselwander, who ran 25:39.60 for the six-kilometer race, finishing in 25th place. This was the second meet in a row that Hasselwander led the way for the team.

She was closely followed by the remaining members of the team.

Junior Jessica VanBinsbergen finished 29th overall and second for the women with a time of 25:50.10.

Freshman Stephanie Holowacz was 30th, as she crossed the line in 25:51.30. Placing 31st was junior Kate Pohlman, who ran 25:54.80. Freshman Louisa Slocum was the final scorer for the team, as she ran 26:00.70 to finish in 33rd place.

The team has come a long way from last season, when the gap between the first and fifth runner was one of the team’s biggest problems.

On Saturday, just 21 seconds separated Hasselwander and Slocum. More importantly, they dramatically improved upon last year’s eighth-place finish at the UAA Championships.

On Saturday, the team will travel to SUNY Geneseo for the second time this season. In their first appearance at the SUNY Geneseo Invitational, they placed fourth out of 16 teams.

The stakes are higher this time, as they will be competing in the New York State Championships, their penultimate meet of the season. There, they will look to improve upon last year’s 10th-place finish at States. The 2004 cross country season comes to a close a week later at NCAA Regional Championships, barring a qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships.

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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