This weekend, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams headed to New Britain, CT for the CCSU Mini Meet. The men’s team only ran three runners, but the women’s team won the race in a dominant fashion. They had a team score of 25, and CCSU came in second with a team score of 103.
Leading the men’s team was first-year runner Dillion Adamy. He ran the 5K course in 15:26 and finished 26th overall, setting a new personal best in the process. Coming in second for the Wildcats was sophomore Andrew Lepage, as he ran 15:52, which was good enough to set a new personal best and to finish in 49th overall slot.
All three runners did more than just set new personal records. They shattered their old ones according to head coach Jim Boulanger.
“Each one had a PR (personal record) by like 40 seconds,” he said, praising how every runner ran in the varsity race.
He liked how they went from being the 13th through 15th runners in most races, to becoming much more as they went out doing what they needed to do in order to be at a “higher level.” Coach Boulanger noted how they were their own team and he praised their efforts for it.
This meet was the last one before the championship meets start, so coach Boulanger wanted these runners to go and win one last race for their confidence. He said it was important for them to get in another race for the development of the cross-country program. He believes that investing in some of the younger runners as well as getting top guys to succeed will benefit the program.
The next meet is Saturday, Nov. 2 at UAlbany for the America East Championships. Boulanger believes that the team will be ready for championship season and said he likes how the team has been training and preparing.
The women’s team on the other hand, ran a full team and won the meet. Their five-runner average of 10:06.7 for the 3K course was the best in the field. The Wildcats were led by junior Elisabeth Danis who finished second overall with a time of 9:53.9. It was the first victory of her college career in the 3K. After her, senior Shannon Murdock finished third overall, running 9:59.9. Right behind her at fourth overall was senior Margaret Champagne, running in 10:04.7 which was a new personal best for her in the 3K.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats was junior Cayla Barretto and sophomore Nicole Yeomans who took seventh and ninth overall, running 10:16.4 and 10:18.4 respectively. They both ran new personal bests as well. Although they did not score for the Wildcats, senior Madeline Quigley finished in 15th overall with a time of 10:29.4 and junior Caroline Mahoney was right behind her at 17th overall, running 10:29.6. Both also set new personal bests as well. Also, their times were beneficial to the team because they pushed back the scores of the other teams and allowed the Wildcats to be the only team with all seven runners finishing in the top 20.
The Wildcats were also the only team with three runners in the top five and all their scoring runners finished in the top 10. There were 105 runners who finished the race with 16 teams participating in the women’s varsity race.
“I thought some of the parts of the team that were developing and improving over the course of the season did exactly that this meet, it was a good day,” women’s head coach Robert Hoppler said after the meet. He added, “The team has been working hard and working toward some big goals and that was a step in the process.”
Hoppler wanted to use the mini meet as a way to try and prepare for the championship meets coming up, feeling that the team had been training well.
“I feel like we have a good team this year so it should be an exciting event,” he said.
He felt the team was able to execute the pack mentality really well this past weekend, and he thought that lead to the team’s victory. He also believes that this mentality has been successful over the past four meets. He looks for the team to continue to build off that mindset in the championship season.
The Wildcats will race again on Nov. 2 at UAlbany for the America East Championships.