A beautiful and exciting environment, last Saturday’s race conditions proved beneficial for the women’s cross country team as they ran to a fourth-place finish.

Spectators lined the course and cheered loudly as the women embarked on their six-kilometer trek through the golf course at Genesee Valley Park. The weather was also perfect – sunny and in the mid-60s.

The combination of hype and the hard work put in throughout the entire season led UR to finish fourth out of 28 teams at the Atlantic Regional Championships.

Sophomore Kellie Hasselwander led the team by finishing 21st in 23:33.5, putting her on the All-Atlantic Region team.

“[Kellie] has had a very good season and was quite consistent all the way through,” head coach Barbara Hartwig said. “It was nice to see her get All-Region again, as she continues to improve amongst very tough competition.”

Next for the Yellowjackets was senior Kate Pohlman, who finished 39th in 24:06.5. Senior Jessica VanBinsbergen was 41st in 24:08.7, falling short of 40th by three tenths of a second.

“Jessie was a bit disappointed with her run, having finished so well at both the UAA and New York State meets,” Hartwig said. “It’s tough when you are a senior – you can’t go back and change it, but she has been such a good leader for us this year. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Sophomore Stephanie Holowacz finished 48th in 24:26.6 and junior Stacy Allen was 68th in 25:00.6.

“Stacy Allen had a huge [personal record] to finish as our fifth runner and keep us in the thick of things,” Hartwig said. “She has been so consistent this year, after having a sub-par season last fall.”

The displacers proved extremely important to the Yellowjackets for this race. The women actually tied with St. Lawrence University for fourth place with 217 points, but, because sophomore Louisa Slocum came in before St. Lawrence’s sixth runner, UR took fourth place. She placed 98th in 25:43.0 and junior Rebecca Hayes finished 125th in 26:33.2.

“Everyone was very excited to finish fourth,” Hartwig said. “This was the best finish for our team in many years. This was also the most teams ever in the Regionals, so that made our finish that much better.”

Hartwig was extremely proud of her team’s ending for the season.

“Although this is called an individual sport, the score reflects the entire team’s effort. One team member might be down a bit and someone else has to step in and pick up the pace to compensate. We demonstrated that on Saturday. We have been pointing our efforts to the end of the season meets all year. We thought we could do it, and we did.”

Philbrick can be reached at ephilbrick@campustimes.org.

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