Brown Cross Country Competes at Ivy League Heptagonal Championship

Bronx, NY- The Brown University men’s and women’s cross country team competed at the 2009 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship this afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park earning fifth place finishes. The men’s team was led by a second-place finish by Christian Escareno (Mount Prospect, IL) and the women were led by a seventh-place finish by senior Ariel Wright (Oakland, CA).

Wright was once again outstanding for the Bears and stepped up and had a great meet. She ran the course in 17:33.9 and crossed the line in seventh place to earn First Team All-Ivy honors. Wright hopes to qualify for NCAA Nationals held in two weeks.

Junior Lauren Pischel (La Jolla, CA) put together her best Ivy performance ever, finishing 13th overall with a 17:55.6 for 13th place and a spot on the Ivy League’s Second Team. Ari Garber (North Falmouth, MA), who has been Brown’s top runner all season long, had an off day running an 18:16.0 for 22nd place, but stepping up was Megan Fitzpatrick (Hopewell Valley, NJ) filling Brown’s fourth spot. Her 18:31.3 was the best race of her career, but unfortunately, the Bears were still too weak at the fourth and fifth spots to achieve its goals.

Earning 41st place was junior Kesley Ramsey (Franklin Lakes, NJ) with an 18:37.3, as Erica Hines (18:44.4) and Elaine Kuckertz (18:53.5) followed behind.

On the men’s side, Columbia University earned the men’s team title with 60 points, as Princeton (61) followed right behind in second place. Both Dartmouth College and Cornell tied for third (90) as Brown claimed fifth place with 106 points.

“We were disappointed with our team finishes of fifth place, but we had some terrific individual performances,” said Head Coach Craig Lake.

Escareno, who finished second overall with a stellar time of 25:19.7, had his best rest of his career and hopes to contend for an individual spot to National at the upcoming NCAA Regional Meet. Escareno earned First Team All-Ivy honors for his outstanding performance.

Senior captain Duriel Hardy (West Chester, PA) once again proved to be a consistent performer for the Bears, as improved on last year’s eighth place finish to cross the line in seventh place this year also earned First Team All-Ivy honors. Hardy also hopes to earn a spot to National this fall.

Senior John Loeser (Weston, CT) ran one of the best races of his career finishing 10th overall earning Second Team All-Ivy honors with a 25:43.1. “We would have won the meet if they scored it through three runners,” added Lake.

Unfortunately, Brian Schilder (Milford, NJ) was sidelined due to illness, and several other Bears didn’t have their bet day on Van Cortlandt Park. “It was good to see the future of the program stepping up with Austin Snyder (Berkeley, CA) and Kevin Cooper (Waterford, IRL) finishing amongst our top seven,” said Lake. Snyder ran the course in 26:57.6 as Cooper followed behind with a 27:03.2

Princeton claimed the women’s team title with 15 points, as Harvard (69) placed second and Columbia (75) earned third. Cornell finished fourth (97) and Brown came in fifth place with 119 points.

“We hope that both of our teams will be stronger in two weeks,” said Head Coach Craig Lake. “I am happy with our individual performances and we look forward to these upcoming weeks.”