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Cross country teams see middling finishes among competitive field

The weekend’s weather and the style of the invitational affected Bruno’s performance

Both cross country teams had modest finishes in last Saturday’s meet at Lehigh University for the Paul Short Invitational. The women’s team came in 16th out of the 48 teams who ran, while the men placed 21st out of 47.

The Indiana University men’s team took home the gold with a total of just 89 points, which are calculated based on finishes. The Brown men tallied 601, and the women finished with 470 points. Georgetown University placed first in the women’s competition with a total of 112 points.

Heidi Caldwell ’14 and Lily Harrington ’16 led the Bears in the women’s race, finishing 31st and 34th respectively. Caldwell, who completed the 6-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 8 seconds, said, “We worked together for a lot of the race, which was awesome.”

On the men’s side, Mark McGurrin ’15 led the Bears with a time of 25:04, which secured him 66th place.

“It’s difficult to be happy,” McGurrin said. “(But) we’ve seen a lot of growth already … and we’ve got a lot of improvement we’re capable of making.”

“We had some good things happen,” said men’s Head Coach Tim Springfield. “Because of the weather we were a little bit more conservative, but I think that was the right thing to do on the day.”

Springfield said it was an “unusually warm day” on Saturday — temperatures reached 84 degrees throughout the day, and a high school meet scheduled for that afternoon was cancelled due to the heat.

“(This) threw a variable into the equation which every team had to deal with,” Springfield said.

This was the largest meet of the season for the Bears, and “one of the largest meets in the whole country,” Springfield added. Four hundred six athletes finished the women’s race, while 397 runners finished the men’s race.

The two earlier meets in the season were smaller, and McGurrin said it was good to get more experience for the members of the team.

“It was really our first big race as a group,” he said. “There’s not a lot of experience on this team, so it’s really exciting to just get out there and compete.”

McGurrin said the main difficulty in a large race such as this one is the start, where all the racers are “packed in a group” and it becomes “more difficult to maneuver.”

“We just focused on climbing and not freaking out at the beginning if you’re not where you want to be ... because the focus is the time,” Caldwell said.

Taking into consideration the heat and large size of the meet, the Bears’ performance was “definitely an improvement,” Springfield said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

The next chance for both teams to compete will be Friday, Oct. 18, when the Bears host the Rothenburg Run in Rhode Island’s own Goddard State Park.

“It’s another opportunity for us to learn how to run together and race together,” Caldwell said, “and kind of feed off each other so that everyone can have a better race.”

The Rothenburg Run will be the last meet before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in November.

“We’re expecting a lot of work, and we look forward to that,” McGurrin said.


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