Westfield, MA- The Brown University women's cross country team competed Sunday at the New England Championships. The Bears entered nine women in the competition, and it was either the first or second racing opportunity of the season for several of the racers. The squad came away with a handful of personal records for 5-kilometers and a solid group effort. The rest of the team will be competing next weekend at the University of Wisconsin.
Leading the Brown racers was freshman Victoria O'Neil (Boise, ID) who placed 44th overall in a time of 18:20 over the 5-kilometer course, a personal record and strong showing for O'Neil. Senior Elizabeth Ryan (Farmington, CT) also had a very exciting showing following close behind O'Neil finishing in 18:26 in 53rd place overall.
Junior Kat Grimes (Chatham, NJ) and senior Tess Plant-Thomas (San Diego, CA) led the next wave of finishers for the Bears both finishing in under 19 minutes in their first races of the season. Grimes opened with a time of 18:56 for 99th overall, and Plant-Thomas crossed in 18:59 (102nd). Freshmen Kate Buss (Blacksburg, VA) and Sophie Mateu (Simi Valley, CA) worked together to finish in 118th (19:07) and 120th places overall just behind Grimes and Plant-Thomas. Mateu improved upon an earlier showing this season at Nassaney Invitational to finish in 19:09. Freshman Emily McGurrin (Manlius, NY) rounded out the Brown competitors in the Varsity competition with a time of 19:18 for 132nd place.
The Bears additionally raced junior Kelsey Albright (Topsfield, MA) and sophomore Abigail Braiman (Horseheads, NY) in the women's Sub-Varsity competition, and both women came away from the competition with personal records. Albright finished in 19th place in 18:52, and Braiman crossed in 19:10 (34th).
Overall, Brown's racers were able to stick together throughout the course and finish with a relatively narrow time spread from the front to the back of the squad. The team will use this momentum and pack running mentality to move into the next few weekends of competition.