Cross Country Keeps on Running

Talk about grueling. Three months after their season began UVM Cross Country is still running strong into the NCAA Northeast Regional.

When you think about it, that’s a whole lotta’ running; mile after mile after mile the Catamounts have kept on running strong and proud.

Both the men’s and women’s squads began the season young and deep. During the course of these last three months, however, they have developed and showcased invaluable experience. Most recently this improvement was on exhibition at the America East Championships hosted by Binghamton University where the men finished sixth and the women fifth.

Both sides of the team had a great turnout this season. The men’s roster consisted of 19 runners, including 8 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 5 juniors, and just 2 seniors. The women’s roster was even longer with 22 runners: 9 freshman, 4 sophomores, 6 juniors, and 3 seniors.

This year, the women’s team captain is senior Katy Jackson, this is her second year holding that post and she has consistently been their top runner all season, sophomore Diana Purtz placed 11th overall at the recent A-East Championships.

Other contributors this year include Cara Moorby, Tessa Auwarter, Trista Baye, Heather McLaughlin, Heather Mitchell, and Rachel Taylor.

Together the women have finished first as a team in three of their six meets so far. The 2005 men’s side is co-captained by seniors Brad Allen and Will Gochberg.

It is notable that Gochberg is the only team member to compete for Vermont for each of his four years and also that Allen was the team MVP for the 2004 season.

For Allen, last season’s performance carried over to this season as he has been the team’s top runner in nearly every race he ran. Other contributors this year have included Ben Fletcher, Chris Healy, Sean Steinhagen, and Tom Cheney. In six meets this year, the men’s team has accrued one victory, one second-place finish, and one third-place finish.

And so the 2005 season has been a success as far as a team goes. New members have been welcomed into the fold and contributed to the team’s performance. Be it in practice, pushing each other to a new level of competition, or in a meet making one of the top-5 times on the team.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have done well for themselves in each time they have hit the trail.

Regardless of the outcome this weekend at Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts, cross country will keep on keeping on, and with any luck that will be at the NCAA championships on November 21st in Terre Haute, Indiana.