Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutewomen finish eighth in BC Invitational

The Massachusetts women’s cross country team took an eighth place finish in the Boston College Invitational this past Saturday.

The 10-team meet included some of the top programs from around New England. Boston College, New Hampshire, Maine and Brown all participated, with the Eagles taking first place.

Courtney Baldwin crossed the line first for the Minutewomen and completed the five kilometer course in 19 minutes, three seconds. Senior Gina Perno finished right behind Baldwin with a time of 19:04. Senior Elizabeth Fisk ran a personal best of 19:10, while juniors Karen Roa and Jennifer Harkey finished with times of 19:11 and 19:27, respectively.

UMass coach Julie LaFreniere said she was devastated by the team’s performance, adding that it was “definitely subpar.”

Lafreniere said that it’s possible it’s only a matter of confidence and not having the opportunity to race since last spring during track and field season.

LaFreniere also mentioned the speed of the course, especially the first mile, saying that some of the girls may have seen their splits in the first mile and thought they were too good. Having seen that, they backed off too much, not keeping their pace.

“They ran hard. I don’t feel they raced hard,” Lafreniere said.

LaFreniere figured the Eagles would do well in the meet, noting their traditionally nationally-ranked standing. For LaFreniere, one of the downsides of the meet was witnessing eight Wildcat runners pass before one Minutewoman graced across the line.

LaFreniere is impressed with the team’s training.

“Up until Saturday I was really excited,” Lafreniere said. “Up to this point the team’s workouts have been superior to where they were last year. Now it’s just a matter of taking that same attitude in training and bringing it to the races.”

LaFreniere stated that the team will progress and that it will take a lot of work to do so.

“We need to be tough competitors. I don’t want just a good training squad,” LaFreniere said.

UMass will have plenty of opportunity to show they can run with the best starting this weekend, as Boston College will come to Amherst on Saturday for the team’s first home meet. LaFreniere is glad the Eagles are coming and that she wants her athletes to race against the top women.

This meet will serve as an opportunity for redemption, as the Minutewomen look to gather strength from each other and have more pride in their running.

LaFreniere added that a few of the top runners on her team were unable to compete due to overuse type of injuries. Senior Lauren Stocker and freshman Mary Cole sat out the race, however they completed a workout on the course pain-free.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at [email protected]

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