Getting Off to a Fast Start
By Matt Fernald, Sports Section Editor '13
The men’s and women’s cross country teams began their fall campaigns with a bang, as both teams came away with dominating victories over Connecticut, Wheaton, and Springfield colleges at the Amherst Invitational. With the length of the season in mind, coach Erik “Ned” Nedeau had several runners on both teams sit the race out; but despite that fact, the outcome of each race was never in question.


Back from her spring semester abroad and with her fellow runners once again, captain Christina Wong took total control of the women’s race, finishing first with a blistering time of 20:13, earning her recognition as the NESCAC Runner of the Week, as well as her first overall victory in college competition. The rest of the team clearly understood the tone she had set, because the following six runners were also wearing the Amherst purple, yielding a perfect score of 15 on the day for the Jeffs.

Eliza Schalch ’12 and first-year Victoria Sosnowski served as the team’s second and third runners. They were neck-and-neck coming toward the finish line, with Schalch just edging Sosnowski by half a second in the end. Sophomore Abigail Hopper had a breakthrough race, finishing fourth with a time of 20:37, with fellow classmate Keri Lambert coming in just three seconds later. The two of them rounded out the scoring positions for the Amherst squad, sealing the win.

Besides being a successful day for the women, it provided that crucial first-race experience for their rookies. Jasia Kaulbach, Amy Dao and Ruodi Duan peformed well in their first college meet, all placing in the top 30 in a field of 52.

Next week, the women will be traveling to UMass, where they will match wits (and stamina) with four Div. I schools.


The men faced some stubborn competition from Wheaton College, but in the end were able to pull away: the depth of their varsity squad overwhelmed the race log as they placed in 13 of the top 15 positions. Wheaton’s Nick Kacher flew to the front of the pack, finishing the five-kilometer course in a time of 16:33, 30 seconds before the next man.

Perhaps to the casual spectator, things looked just a little grim for the Jeffs; but the next two runners that crossed were Amherst seniors Travis Cohoon and Jack Seaver, who finished second and third. After another Wheaton runner finished in fourth, another senior, Kevin Hanley, took the fifth slot and started what became a domination wave of purple that would take up spots 5 through 15, thereby earning the win. After Hanley came Dillon Buckley and Alvara Morales, who scored for the team, while Patrick Grimes and Alec Jacobson served as the sixth and seventh runners for the team.

Saturday’s course was shorter than the standard for college men, as it measured five kilometers rather than the usual eight, thereby serving as a nice warm-up for upper- and underclassmen alike (It is of particular importance to the freshmen because the standard distance in high school is five kilometers, while in college it is eight.) For first-years Charlie Reighard, Dan Burnett, Kevin Heintz and Joe Nassirian, they will not only be able to look back on their first college race as one of success, but one of transition.

Next week, the men will also travel to UMass, where they will run their first eight-kilometer race of the season and will test their mettle against Div. I schools.

Issue 02, Submitted 2010-09-15 04:07:04