On Sept. 24, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Maine to compete in the Bowdoin College Invitational. This was the team’s third meet of the season, and both teams are off to strong starts.
With strength from new and returning runners, both the women’s and men’s teams placed first, taking down 10 and 11 other teams, respectively.
Out of 105 runners in the women’s 6K, sophomore Carly Rinko placed first with a time of 23:00.3.Rinko expressed her initial concern with Bowdoin’s fast course.
“I typically don’t do well on flat courses and going super fast, so I was a little nervous,” Rinko said.
Rinko’s nerves evidently did not get the better of her as she edged out Bowdoin senior Leila Trummel for the win.Following Rinko in third place was first-year Samantha Fellman, who ran 23:05.5. The rest of the first-year class was not far behind. Alexandra Dean (23:06.7), Elizabeth Donahue (23:07.3), Julianne Teitler (23:12.4) and Jaclyn Turner (23:28.0) placed fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. First-year Eliana Montgomery followed shortly after to secure a victory for the women’s team.
When congratulated on her win, Rinko humbly reflected on the skill of her new teammates.
“I didn’t really lead the pack the whole way — it was the freshmen,” Rinko said “They had a really good grouping up front … I was following their lead for most of it. And then, just toward the end, I was able to pick it up. I honestly don’t take credit for any of that.”
Despite losing some of its top runners from last season, the women’s cross country team’s future looks bright. The first-years have confidently stepped up to fill the void of the graduating class.
“They’re completely carrying our team,” Rinko said.
The men’s cross country team similarly featured a dominant group of underclassmen aside from the victor of the men’s race, junior Walter Wagude. At Bowdoin, Wagude continued his successful collegiate career, placing first out of 123 competitors in the men’s 8K. He crossed the line at 25:09.6.
Sophomore Ivan Appleton was the next Tufts runner to finish, placing fifth with a time of 25:50.1.Immediately behind Appleton were sophomore Martin Horne (25:53.8), first-year Luke Brennan (26:00.3) and first-year Amokrane Aouchiche (26:02.8).Senior Oliver Printy and junior Ryan Proulx followed not far behind to bring home the victory for Tufts.
With this victory in the books, it is safe to say that the Jumbos have a lot to look forward to in the coming months and years.
The team now shifts its focus to the rest of this season, with special attention to the NESCAC Championship in late October as well as the NCAA East Regionals in mid-November, where the first-year class will be relied on to push the Jumbos to nationals.