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Cross country squads defend home turf at invitational

The women’s head coach said the race was about athletes ‘racing together, not just training together’

Both men’s and women’s cross country finished first at Friday’s Rothenberg Invitational in Warwick. The women’s team took four of the first five individual places and finished with a score of 22, while the men placed three runners in the top five and earned a score of 24.

“It was really just about getting out there and running as a team — running confidently,” said Mark McGurrin ’15, who placed first in the men’s race.

The Rothenberg Invitational is one of the smallest meets of the season with five schools competing in the men’s race and six in the women’s. It is also the only home meet of the season for the Bears.

“A smaller meet like this can really sort of have (an) explicit race strategy, and (you) see your teammates a lot easier,” said women’s Head Coach Mitchell Baker.

In the men’s eight-kilometer race, McGurrin took gold with a time of 25 minutes, 25 seconds. Colin Savage ’14 and Ned Willig ’16 also finished within the top five, coming in third and fifth respectively.

Though the Bears took four of the five first spots in the women’s race, the winner of the 6k was Dartmouth’s Elizabeth Markowitz, who finished in 17:20. Heidi Caldwell ’14 and Lily Harrington ’16 followed closely, with times of 17:22 and 17:28 respectively. Leah Eickhoff ’15 and Alexandra Conway ’15, a Herald Staff Writer, rounded off the top five, both also finishing under the 18-minute mark.

Baker said that despite some separation, the women managed to stay together most of the race and executed the strategy well. “It’s an important thing for the championship season for the athletes to be racing together, not just training together,” he said.

The Rothenberg Invitational was the Bears’ last meet this season before Ivy League competition gets underway. This year’s Ivy League Heptagonal Championships will take place Nov. 2 in Princeton, N.J.

“We’ve got good depth, a lot of women in the same range — any one of them could be making breakthroughs, and that’s definitely a good place to be as a coach,” Baker said. “We’re a team that’s got options, and ready to run our best races at the end of the season, which is where we are.”

“We have a lot of confidence in our training,” said McGurrin, who added that Head Coach Tim Springfield has done well. “We’re well on our way to (the Ivy Championship).”


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