Top runners rest during Fall Weekend

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, October 10, 2011

The cross country teams traveled to the New England Championships in Boston Saturday with squads composed of younger and less-experienced competitors. The decision allowed the teams to simultaneously rest their strongest runners while gauging the progress of developing athletes.

“In our sport, we try to focus on the training in the first part of the season, and racing often takes away from that,” said Mitchell Baker, head coach of the women’s cross country team.

“It was really about getting experience and skill development,” said Tim Springfield, head coach of the men’s squad.

The women finished 24th in a field of 39 teams and were led by Abigail Jones ’15, who finished the five-kilometer race in 19 minutes, 20 seconds.  

“I think that the training that Coach Baker has been implementing is really starting to show and pay off,” Jones said. “We did really well representing the up-and-coming runners.”

Elizabeth Ryan ’13 finished second for Brown in 19:36 and Taylor Williams ’15 captured the third spot on the team with a time of 20:01.  

“I was not expecting to be competitive as a team,” Baker said. “A lot of those teams were running their best athletes.”

In his first race of the year, Colin Savage ’14 led the men to a 15th-place finish in a field of 43 teams with a time of 26:11 for the eight-kilometer race.  

Savage was followed nine seconds later by Ethan Hickey ’12. Benjamin Stephenson ’13 finished third for Brown in 26:24.

“I thought they executed their game plan pretty well,” Springfield said of his top three finishers. “They ran together as a pack most of the way and climbed through the field.”

The squads will host the Rothenberg Run Friday at their home course in East Greenwich. According to both coaches, more runners will compete than did Saturday, but some of the top runners will likely forgo the race.

“This is a lot of our team’s last chance to race,” Baker said. “I hope we can do well, especially at the home meet.”


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