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Cross country squads each take fifth

Last Friday's trip to the Bronx for the 2009 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship brought mixed emotions for the men's and women's cross-country squads. Both teams had great individual successes, but the day was bittersweet, as each finished in fifth place overall. Columbia took the men's title, while Princeton claimed first for the women.

Leading the Bears with strong performances were Christian Escareno '10, who won the silver medal for the men in a blisteringly fast 25:19.7 on the eight-kilometer course, and Ariel Wright '10, who placed seventh in the women's five-kilometer event with a time of 17:33.9. Both runners earned First Team All-Ivy honors for their top 10 effort. 

Facing a lot of stress going into the race, Head Coach Craig Lake reminded the team that all the other runners were facing the same burdens, and that each of them was human. It rang true for Escareno, who feared stomach cramps might force him back into the pack.

"I stuck it out and ran behind the first-place runner for as long as possible. I have no regrets,"  Escareno said. "I'm proud to be able to hold the silver medal."

Escareno was one of three Brown men in the top 10. Other runners to earn All-Ivy Honors were captain Duriel Hardy '10, who placed seventh and earned a spot on the first team.

Also placing in the top 10 for the men was John Loeser '10 in a time of 25:43.1, earning him Second Team All-Ivy. On the women's side, Herald Staff Writer Lauren Pischel '11 finished behind Wright, taking 13th place with a 17:55.6 as well as a spot on the second team.  

Also running strong for the women's squad was Ari Garber '12, who led the women in most of their meets this year. She finished in 18:16.0, good for 22nd place. Megan Fitzpatrick '11 also ran well, turning in a time of 18:31.3.

"We didn't as a team race our finest, but I think that there is definitely a huge potential for us to do really well at Regionals," Pischel said. "I don't think this was indicative — we've put in all this incredibly hard work." 

The Bears will be racing at Franklin Park in Boston on Nov. 14 in the NCAA Northeast Regional, where many of the Bears hope to capture a spot for Nationals.


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