The cross country teams traveled to New Britain, Conn., for the Central Connecticut State Invitational and returned home Saturday night after proving their worth.
The women placed second overall with 42 points, besting eight other teams, while the men took fourth place out of 11 teams with a total of 117 points.
Head Coach Craig Lake decided to leave her experienced upperclassmen at home with only a week before the Ivy League's Heptagonal Championships. This gave the younger runners a chance to show Brown's depth. This was the first college race for some, while others had competed in a few meets this season.
It was a rainy day for the Bears, which made for a muddy course, but the conditions didn't discourage the competitors.
The women's squad, which finished only 10 points behind first-place finisher Quinnipiac, was led by Bree Shugarts '13. She came in fourth place in the three-kilometer race with a time of 10:25.22. Megan Fitzpatrick '11 finished four tenths of a second behind Shugarts, taking fifth in 10:25.62. Two more Brown runners finished back-to-back. Elaine Kuckertz '13 finished 10th (10:37.41) and Eliza Webber '12 took 11th (10:37.45). Also finishing in the top 20 were Carolyn Ranti '13 (10:49.28) and Angela Rugino '13 (10:52.25).
"Everyone on the team that raced did a good job and worked together to finish well," Shugarts said. "I'm really excited for our team because we have some really great runners who have a lot of potential and ability to go far this season."
The men were led by Scott Friedlander '12. He took sixth place in a time of 15:25.45 despite taking a fall on the wet, slippery five-kilometer course. Friedlander, who had started in the middle of the pack, slipped further back after the fall. Ultimately, he was able to regain his positioning.
"Our race plan is always to start conservatively and move in the second half of our race," Friedlander said. "I felt really relatively fresh after going out conservatively over the first mile, so I was able to pick up the pace as the guys in front of me started slowing down."
Ben Stephenson '13 and Nathan Chellman '12 finished 21st and 22nd with times of 15:44.07 and 15:44.72, respectively. Close behind were Erik Berg '13 (15:55.00) and Anthony Schurz '13(15:59.77).
The Bears will be back in action on Friday at the Ivy Heptagonals at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y.