The women’s cross country team had much better results this past weekend than they did the last, placing eighth out of 16 at the SUNY Geneseo Invitational at Letchworth State Park. The team scored 215 points, just two behind SUNY Plattsburgh and only nine behind SUNY Brockport.

“The women’s team raced much better this weekend,” head coach Barbara Hartwig said. “The team’s intensity was at a much higher level. Even though we still had some people running 6K for the first time, there was clearly more confidence being displayed [and] people were more focused.”

Junior Laura Richenderfer agreed with her coach.

“As a team, we set some goals and definitely accomplished them,” she said. “We raced competitively and improved our start. Coach Hartwig challenged us this week to race the first mile of the course harder than we are used to and as a result, I think people found that they had more strength than they realized.”

Junior Kellie Hasselwander was the first to cross the finish for the team at 24:07 for the 6K race. This placed her 31st out of 271 runners. Next for the team was freshman Sarah Gollub, who placed 49th with a time of 24:37.

Rounding out the top five were Richenderfer, who placed 59th with a time of 24:54, senior Nora Craighead, clocking in at 25:09 in 66th place and senior Whitney Silkworth, who finished in 69th at 25:15. The displacers were right behind her, as freshmen Hilary Haefner and Rachel Given placed 70th and 72nd, respectively.

Once again the Yellowjackets’ depth proved beneficial for the team. With a gap time (from the first to the fifth runner) of 68 seconds, the team displayed strength in staying close together.

Overall, Hartwig was pleased with the results of the meet.

“People were challenging for position and making an effort to fight off other competitors. Our finishing sprints were excellent and I believe people now have more confidence to begin their last push much earlier,” Hartwig said.

This coming weekend, the ‘Jackets will be celebrating Meliora Weekend by competing close to home at the Nazareth Invitational at Nazareth College. The race will start at noon on Saturday.

Philbrick can be reached at

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