Tufts made the short trip to Franklin Park in Boston to compete in the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association Championship on Oct. 8. The women’s and men’s cross country teams were put up against some tough competition, as they were the only Division III entry.
Coming off of their victory on Sept. 24, the women’s team competed well against their Division I opponents. In the varsity 5K race, they placed ninth out of 18 teams in total. This race resulted in a similar outcome as their last race in terms of the performance of the underclassmen. First-year Jaclyn Turner’s collegiate career is off to a good start as she was the first Tufts runner to cross the finish line in the varsity race, with a time of 19:14.8. She placed 40th out of 122 runners total. Fellow first-year Alexandra Dean was two places behind Turner, running 19:16.7. Sophomore Carly Rinko, who dominated at the Bowdoin Invitational last month, finished not far behind Turner and Dean, running 19:22.6.
On the sub-varsity side, the women’s team placed third against six other teams. First-year Gwenyth Stach placed 14th out of 96 women, with a time of 19:40.6. Two other first-years closely followed. Julia Dolce placed 20th, running 19:59.2 and Eliana Montgomery placed 22nd, with a time of 20:00.1.
First-year Samantha Fellman ran 19:47 for the varsity squad at Saturday’s race. She commented on the transition to college running as well as the team environment.
“[College running] is different in that it’s a lot more mileage than I’m used to,” said Fellman.
Luckily, though, she has been surrounded by a team who keeps her grounded.
“It’s been super exciting having such a big group of freshmen,” Fellman said. “There are so many awesome, amazing people to run with and support you. … I’m really excited about what’s to come.”
As Fellman noted, the program has something to look forward to in years to come. Both as competitors and as friends, this first-year class has proved that they are a family on and off the course.
In the men’s sub-varsity 8K, Tufts came in second, taking down three Division I and two Division II teams. First-year Colin Duhnoski was the first Jumbo to cross the line, finishing in 26:50.4 and placing 11th overall. Junior David Manning was right behind in 13th, running 26:58.1. Sophomore Brady Colford (27:31.5) and junior Jackson O'Toole (27:33.6) came in 20th and 21st, respectively.
Tufts rested its men’s varsity team in order to prepare for this week’s meet at Connecticut College as well as the NESCAC Championship in less than three weeks.
As the only Division III school to compete at the NEICAAA Championship, it’s safe to say Tufts put up a good fight in a highly competitive environment. There is still much to look forward to for the Jumbos as the season progresses.