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ISSUE 117 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/19/2003

Women show promise in third place finish at Carleton

By Jesse Horst
Staff Writer

Friday, September 19, 2003

The women’s cross country team overcame sickness and sore legs for a strong third place finish in a field of six teams at last weekend’s Carleton Invitational. The meet marked the beginning of a promising season for an exciting new generation of Ole runners. A tightly grouped lead pack, comprised exclusively of underclassmen, sent out a clear message of the team’s vast potential and left little doubt as to this team’s ability to carry on the program’s strong tradition.

The outcome of the race itself fell short of expectations as the Oles finished 22 points behind first place St. Ben’s and a mere one point shy of rival Carleton. After a week of hard training and with several key runners debilitated by illness, the team was not at its full capability. "Any time you lose to [the Carls] it makes you sick," said coach Chris Daymont, "but we had a great pack that was just a bit more tired than normal." Despite finishing one point back, the Oles managed to land all of their first five runners within 18 seconds of each other, well ahead of the fourth finisher in Carleton’s widely spaced group.

The tight pack of harriers, headed up by ninth, tenth, and eleventh place finishers Kezia Manlove ‘06, Erin Weier ‘07, and Lindsay Boetcher ‘06 showed composure as they held the top twelve within one minute and two seconds of each other. "Our top twelve had only one senior and no juniors. This is a very young team," said Daymont. Indeed, several first years, including Stephanie Block and Lauren Ciechanowski, put forth good efforts in their first competitive experience at the collegiate distance of six kilometers. Rounding out the top five scorers were sophomores Larisa Nordstrom and Brenna Bray.

Pack running is a new concept for this year’s runners, who, in previous years, had been able to look to perennial All-American Megan Daymont ‘03 for leadership. "It definitely felt different" said captain April Graves ‘05. "The whole top group was used to having that leader. This year we don’t have a sure number one, but we have a lot of depth." The team will have to rely on that depth as they pursue their quest to defend their conference championship as well as regain a berth to nationals. "The training is definitely there; we just need to start believing in ourselves as a team." Graves said.

Next Saturday’s Ole Invite will give the team the opportunity to show off their ability at home as they face off against a competitive field of 19 teams. "We’ve really stepped it up this week." said Daymont. "Now we just need to realize what we have to do."

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