Cross country squad prepares for upcoming challenges

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, September 15, 2010


For many of the men and women who participated in the Boston College Invitational on Saturday, the starting gun signaled both a new season and the beginning of their Brown running careers.  The freshmen who ran gained important experience and proved themselves capable of competing at the collegiate level.   

On the men’s side, Nathan Chellman ’12 guided the freshmen as they ran their first collegiate eight-kilometer race. Considering that high school races are only 5k, Assistant Coach Jill Miller wrote in an e-mail to The Herald, “each of them showed tremendous toughness and potential.”  

Andrew Perilli ’14 was the first underclassman finisher for Brown with a time of 25 minutes, 58 seconds and was closely followed by Brendan Boyle ’14 with 26:13. Regarding the longer distance, Perilli wrote in an e-mail to The Herald, “the last mile was very tough and it was a true test to keep everything together.”

As a frame of reference, 8k is about 5 miles and in order to finish in 26 minutes, a runner would have to average 5:14 per mile.  

The fast times run by the men show that they are “far ahead of where we expect freshmen to be at this point in the season,” Miller wrote. 

Alyse Rocco ’12 led the women’s team and, although there were fewer freshmen competing, Aleyna La Croix ’14 and Megan Palmer ’14 were among those who gained valuable experience. They posted times of 19:27 and 20:09 respectively for the 5k race. To ground these times, it requires a 6:26 per mile pace to finish the 5k — 3.11 miles — race in 20 minutes. 

With the first meet behind the team, Miller wrote, “the main focus is on high-quality workouts and keeping everyone healthy.”  

As with any sport, success requires both solid fitness and sound strategy. On this, Miller wrote, “we have a lot of room for tactical and mental improvements.”  

Since it is still early in the season, there is plenty of time to strengthen the foundation on which later success can be built. “Everybody is here because they want to run and push themselves,” La Croix wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.    

This motivation will be important as the teams prepare for the Iona Meet of Champions on Saturday.  This competition will include more members of both teams, and the squads should be close to full strength, according to Miller.   

This race’s location — Van Cortlandt Park in New York, N.Y. — is strategically important as the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship is held there later in the season. Running the Iona meet now allows the new runners to “visualize the course that they will run at Heps,” Miller wrote.  

Although the search continues for a new men’s distance coach, Miller wrote, “we are hopeful to have someone in less than 2 weeks.” At that point, the Iona Meet of Champions will be over, and the team will be preparing for the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University.