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Cross country travels to Indiana

The men's and women's cross country squads traveled to Indiana last weekend to compete in the 2009 Indiana State University Pre-National Invitational. Both teams showed strength in a large field of schools from across the country.

In the Men's 8,000 Meter Blue Race, Brown finished 20th in the team standings out of a field of 34 with a total of 486 points. The women claimed 21st out of 37 with 571 points in the 6,000 Meter White Race.

Christian Escareno '10, who led the men with a 28th place finish and a time of 24:24.0, was the only runner who had run the Indiana course before as a freshman.

"The course was wet, muddy and slow and the weather was in the chilly 40s, but all these things didn't stop us from running fast times and learning how to race on the national course," Escareno wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

It was a good learning experience for the team, which competed against the top-ranked programs in the nation. Escareno added that the meet "was definitely a step in the right direction before our conference championships." The team looks forward to being fresh and ready for their upcoming races.

Ari Garber '12, who led the Brown women in 49th place with a time of 21:39.1, echoed some of the same sentiments.

"This meet gave us confidence going into championship season," Garber said. The women are also looking forward to being healthy for their conference meet next weekend and Heptagonals the following, she said.

Some girls are recovering from illnesses. "We know that when we're rested we will be able to take on some of the teams that beat us," Garber said.

Ariel Wright '10, who came in after Garber with a time of 22:00.3, said that their performance was a good opportunity to run with some of the elite teams.

"Running against some of the best teams in the country set a precedent for the future of our program, and showed us what we need to do to get to where we want to be," she said.
Men's captain Duriel Hardy '10 finished in 44th (24:39.1) and John Loeser '10 rounded out the top three Bears with a time of 25:23.2. Also running for the Bears were Matt Duffy '12 (25:28.0), John Haenle '11 (26:00.3), Colin Brett '10 (26:06.1) and Brian Schilder '10 (26:28.4). The men bested Harvard on the day by 93 points.

"Our team looks really strong and I know we are going to continue to improve over the rest of the season," Hardy wrote in a text message to The Herald. "We are looking to finish at the top of our league and region and I think we can do it."

The women had strong performances from Kesley Ramsey '11 (22:22.2), Herald Staff Writer Lauren Pischel '11 (22:42.0), Erica Hines '13 (22:47.0), Rachel Baker '12 (23:21) and Michaeline Nelson '11 (23:42.4). The Bears bested 16 other teams on the day.

Both the men and the women will be back in action on Saturday at the Central Connecticut State Invitational.


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