Freshmen Runners Shine At Amherst Invitational
By by ROBERT LONG, Staff Writer
The men's and women's cross-country teams overcame inclement weather and Saturday classes to post strong finishes at the Amherst Invitational held on campus.

The women finished second behind Brandeis University, while the men edged out Keene State for third place overall, behind the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and first-place Trinity College.

The freshmen men shone in their college racing debut. Michael Page '04 led the Jeffs, finishing the 5.1 mile course in 28:22.

Page crossed the line in ninth place overall with junior Nathaniel Robinson finishing tenth (28:24) and fellow freshman John Stanton-Geddes in eleventh (28:28).

Justin DiVenuta '04 placed fourth on the team and 21st overall (29:00), while junior Ben Kozyak completed the top five in a time of 29:13, good for 35th place.

Other notable finishes included Albert Lee '02 (29:41, 36th), Alex Lenkoski '03 (29:53, 42nd), and Brett Richey '03 (29:59, 44th).

"I was impressed and excited to see three freshmen in the top five," said Coach Erik Nedeau. "[The freshmen] demonstrated that they have the poise and strength to excel at this level."

The women finished second thanks to strong performances by veteran runners Diana Rancourt '02, Alison Dimon '03 and Rebecca Woo '02. Rancourt '02 led the team with a sixth-place overall finish in 20 minutes and nine seconds.

Dimon completed the three-mile course in 20:31 and placed eleventh overall. Woo impressed many teammates and friends by crossing the line in 20:43, nearly three minutes faster than her time on the course last year.

With this personal best Woo finished 16th, while first-year Alyson Venti placed 17th (20:44), and Katie Famous '01 rounded out the top five runners with a 19th place finish(20:59).

The women's team demonstrated their strength and depth as their next four runners placed in the top forty. Molly Burnett '02 (21:21, 25th), Emily Dubinsky '03 (21:27, 28th), and freshmen Erinn White (21:36, 29th) and Helen Dole (21:52, 38th) look to enter the top five in upcoming races.

"The women can be proud of their effort," said Nedeau. "[The women] have high aspirations and took the first step toward those goals with a strong race against respectable competition."

The women topped Wellesley College, while NESCAC-rival Trinity and nearby Springfield College finished in fifth. Both teams continue to build strength this week with grueling workouts and high mileage training.

"Our focus is building strength and staying healthy," said men's Co-captain Brian Gilliss '01. "Individual places and times will take a backseat until we start speedwork in early

October. Both the men's and women' teams should peak in November when the championship meets begin."

The Jeffs return to racing this Saturday as both teams travel to the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational.

Issue 02, Submitted 2000-09-13 15:58:23