By: Logan Mullen
The men and women’s cross country team had a successful weekend at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational this past weekend, showing promise for the remainder of the season.
The women’s team took 11th out of the 29 competing groups, scoring 305 points. Sophomore Abby Wright stole the show for the Pride, finishing 45th overall with a 20:07 time on the 5K course. This result gave promise to a young Pride cross country team that was missing their top runner in Gabby Gaudreault.
Nevertheless, coach Jim Pennington was impressed with multiple aspects of his team’s performance.
“Our one through five total time dropped from 1:30 to 48 seconds,” said Pennington.
Amidst this young talent, Springfield is continuing to improve in all aspects of the sport.
“If we need to build endurance, we will build endurance,” said Pennington. “In about a week, we are going to start moving into a faster speed component; you have to keep honest on both things.”
Pennington expects improvements this weekend at the Purple Valley Classic, as the team will deal with longer distance and more hills in a course that has the potential to become the location of next year’s regionals or championship.
The men’s team finished 13th with a team score of 346. The Pride were anchored by sophomore Jacob Simons, who came in 57th after running a 27:44 over an 8K course
“Our team is hard-working and always put out a 100 percent effort which is all I can ask for each week,” commented head coach Bryan Brown.
Going into the men’s leg of the Purple Valley Classic, Brown and his squad realize there is plenty of work left to be done.
“I want this team to get better at running in a tighter pack,” said Brown. “If we run more in a pack, it can help a lot of our guys to run stronger and run with more confidence.”
For both the men’s and women’s teams, the regular season is a way to prepare and gear up for the regionals and championships, and running in one of the top regions in the country is great preparation as eight of the top 10 Division III teams in the country come from New England.
While this weekend is only a regular season race, expect to see major improvements from both the men’s and women’s cross country teams.