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Squads start season with strong finishes at Dartmouth

After falling short of nationals last season, the cross country teams hope to highlight young talent

The men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their 2013 seasons Saturday at the Dartmouth Invitational in Hanover, N.H., finishing third and fifth, respectively. The men’s team earnedits bronze with 90 points overall, and the women’s team finished with 141.

“We performed reasonably well,” said men’s Head Coach Tim Springfield. “It was a solid opener … (that) fulfilled its purpose.”

Women’s Head Coach Mitchell Baker said he was pleased with the women’s performance.

“I thought the women did a solid job of competing, even though they knew they wouldn’t have every bit of their physical ability sharpened and ready to go,” Baker said.

The Bears’ best individual time on the women’s side came from Heidi Caldwell ’14, who finished the 6 kilometers in 10th place with a time of 21 minutes, 21 seconds. The winner of that race was, for the third time in a row, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, who managed a 51-second advantage over the second place runner, Bentley University’s Tara Dooley.

“We kind of went to find out what we had to work on … to see where we are physically and mentally and work from there,” Caldwell said.

Bruno’s fastest runner for the men’s 8 kilometer race was Stephen Bourguet ’17. Bourguet finished with a time of 25:08, earning 20th place. Dartmouth’s Will Geoghegan was the individual winner for the second straight year.

“I’m definitely happy with the overall result,” Bourguet said. “But I think I can do better, which is a pretty encouraging thing.”

Brown’s team was made up mostly of freshmen and some upperclassmen with less experience, Springfield said. “It was an opportunity for our younger athletes to compete” he said.

Springfield said he is “very excited” about the incoming freshmen, who have “a lot of potential,” adding that “the team as a whole is training really well — really hard” in order to have a successful season.

“It’s a great group of guys, and we all get along really well,” Bourguet said. Bourguet said he hopes to be able to run at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in November.

“There’s something really special about (the Ivies),” Caldwell said. She finished fourth in 2012.

Last year, the men’s team placed last in the Ivies and 11th in the NCAA Regionals and did not qualify for the NCAA Championship. The women’s team managed a third-place finish in the Ivies and a top-ten finish in the region but were also unable to go to nationals.

“We’re really focused this year on our own development and maximizing our capabilities,” Springfield said.

The women’s team has few returning athletes from last year’s top seven, Caldwell said. “I think it’s going to be a building year … The season itself is kind of an unknown, but I’m really excited. Our team is really close this year and I think we’re going to do well.”

Baker said these first meets are still a “testing period” for the team.

“Our sport is entirely directed towards the end of the season,” Baker said. “(We’ll) have a little bit more clear objectives when we get to October (and) November.”

Bruno’s next challenge will come Saturday in New York, when the team travels for the Iona Meet of Champions.

“We’re ready to get out there and race and see where it takes us,” Baker said.


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