Billy PetersonStaff Writer
The Springfield College men and women’s cross country team competed at the Purple Valley Classic, in Williamstown, Mass. this past Sat., September 28.
For the men, it was their third meet of the year, after competing in the Smith Invitational and UMASS Dartmouth Invitational earlier this fall. The Pride, led by head coach Bryan Brown, are looking to build off of last year’s second-place finish at the conference championships.
On Saturday, Albany, N.Y. native Erich Voelker ran the fastest time of anyone in a Springfield uniform. The Computer Graphics/Digital Arts major ran a 29:47.6, which was good enough to finish 70th in the meet. There were a total of 150 runners in the men’s and 159 runners in the women’s meet.
Ironically, all five of the men’s top runners finished within eight spots of each other. Jacob Simons (29:52.5), Joe Geurds (29:54.6), Scott Bushey (29:56.9) and Corey Hamel (30:22.9) all finished right after one another with William Beauvais (31:31.6) and Jonathan Perkins (31:08.4) rounding out the field for the Pride.
Although the Springfield men finished 12th out of 13 teams, no runner finished worse than 81st overall. Springfield is a very young team, with three of the seven runners being sophomores. MIT came away with the victory in the meet as three runners placed in the top five.
On the women’s side, the team competed in their fourth meet of the year, having ran the previous three Saturdays. The team is headed by head coach Jim Pennington, who enters his 29th year at the helm.
The women were led by J’amie Giaccone, a junior from Enfield, Conn., who finished first on the team and 61st overall with a time of 25:44.3. Right behind Giaccone was another Enfield native, Emily Rund, who finished at 25:47.4, good for 63rd overall.
“The team ran on a very tough course with several big hills, and matched up against five out of the top 10 nationally ranked women’s cross country teams,” Pennington said.
Pennington went on to add that the meet featured teams from three different regions of the country.
The 11th-place finish for the Pride was an improvement on last season’s 15th-place result. Abby Wright (25:55.3), Sarah Knop (26:26.2) and Samantha Pomroy (26:29.7) also qualified for Springfield.
“Our runners are running closer together as a team, which is a strategy in cross country,” Pennington said.
In weeks prior, Springfield had a pair of seventh- and another 11th-place finish.
“The race was a good effort by all, and we have been steadily progressing as a team for the past six weeks,” stated Pennington.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will have a week to rest up and get ready for the New England Championships that are to be held at Franklin Park on October 12