by Alexander Su
This past weekend, the CMU women?s cross country team traveled to New York for the Yellowjacket Cross Country Invitational in Genesee Valley Park hosted by the University of Rochester. The team placed sixth out of 11 teams, behind SUNY Geneseo, Baldwin Wallace College (Ohio), the University of Rochester, Lock Haven (Pa.), and Case Western Reserve (Ohio). The event was a 6K run, and junior Jocelyn Sikora placed second with a time of 23:46 out of 132 runners, averaging 6:22 per mile. The Tartans averaged 26:26.56 for the race, which was a kilometer longer than the one in the previous week.
Other runners who placed for the Tartans included senior Allison Spare in 60th place with a time of 27:14, first-year Carrie Kmetzo 27:19 in 61st place, junior Kate Hollabaugh in 62nd place with a 27:25 and junior Carrie Mallozzi in 63rd place with a time of 27:28.
Last week, the CMU women?s cross country team placed fourth out of 12 teams at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational Cross Country Meet at Schenley Park, with an average time of 20:19. Grove City finished in first place, followed by Geneva and Penn State Behrend.
The team had a great showing, reflecting the tremendous amounts of time spent in preparation. Sikora said, ?It was hard, we all worked hard but we ran awesome. All the hard practices paid off.? The dedicated work definitely showed through as Sikora ran a personal best 19:01, good enough for fourth place in the entire meet. Junior Karen Helmstetter placed 14th overall, and Mallozzi just made the top 25.
The course was a 5K run, which is downhill for the first mile, and uphill for the second. The runners got a fast start by running the first downhill mile quickly.
The Schenley Park course is a favorite for the team. ?It?s a meet we all look forward to, and we have practices to prepare for this,? said Sikora. Preparation was a theme commonly repeated by various members. Helmstetter, who also ran a personal best of 20:04, said, ?It?s a deceptive course and you have to know it well to succeed. Everyone ran great today.?
The weather was beautiful last Saturday, which helped the team tremendously. Spare said, ?The weather was great, and all the people who were healthy ran. The competition was good, since the teams were Division III rather than Division I.?
Typically, the CMU team runs against Division I teams; this event was a welcome change. Team captain Jamie Davidson said, ?We had some good competition, which will help us move up in the regional standings. It was definitely nice to run against Division III schools rather than Division I teams such as Duquesne and Pitt.?