Women's Cross Country Team Gears Up for 2007 Season

Sept. 5, 2007

Providence, RI - Despite the team's youth, the 2007 Women's Cross Country team is expecting to be stronger than ever and place near the top of the Ivy League. The Bears open at Franklin Park with the BU Invitational on Sept. 7.

With freshmen making up more than half the roster, Head Cross Country Coach Craig Lake is expecting the newcomers to make an immediate impact on the squad. With a few talented veterans and an extremely strong sophomore class, the Bears should compete with just about anybody in the upcoming campaign.

"Our goal is to drastically improve on our finish at Heps," said Lake. "If we're healthy, we should be able to do that. From seventh place last year to either second or third this year is the goal."

Brown's top senior, Smita Gupta (Tulsa, OK), returns to the lineup this year, along with sophomore Jenna Ridgway (Santa Barbara, CA) and sophomore Ariel Wright (Oakland, CA). Both Gupta and Wright placed among the top 25 runners at the NCAA Northeast Regional Meet last season and earned All-Region accolades. Ridgway placed first for the Bears (20th overall) at Heps last season, completing the 5-kilometer course in 18:11.

Joining the others at the top will be junior Lindsay Kahn (Port Jefferson, NY) who is coming off a terrific track season after placing second in the steeplechase at Heps. She earned Second Team All-Ivy honors and qualified for the NCAA Regional meet as well.

Stepping in immediately will be freshman Lara Heigis (Walpack, NJ) and Kesley Ramsey (Franklin Lakes, NJ). Heigis is familiar with the Ivy League championships course and has run an 18:26 on the Van Cortlandt Park course, which is an extremely competitive time.

Adding depth and rounding out Brown's roster will be senior Nora Sullivan (Cambridge, MA). Although she has been injured, Sullivan is an inspirational leader and role model to the young Bear squad; she is expected to come back and help the Bears battle at Heps. Also look for freshmen Megan Fitzpatrick (Hopewell Valley, NJ), Caitlin Clark (Granite Bay, CA), Abby Hinds (Mountain Lakes, NJ), Cara Harrison (Gaithersburg, MD) and Michaeline Nelson (McLean, VA) to step in and help the Bears' to a successful season.

After the BU Invitational on Sept. 7, the Bears head to the Quinnipiac Invitational on Sept, 21 and then the Iona Meet of Champions (Sept. 22). Next on the Bears' plate is the New England Championships (Oct. 6), Pre-Nationals (Oct. 13), and the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 26.