New Gloucester, ME --- Sophomore Sydney Packard (Georgetown, MA) led the WPI women's cross country team to a third place showing at the Bates Super XC Shootout, which accounts for the top 10 from each team with the 11th and 12th place runners used for displacement, Saturday at Pineland Farms.
No. 11 Tufts earned the team crown with 114 (31) points as No. 25 Bates collected 168 (32). WPI posted 231 (67) and Wellesley accumulated 358 (112). Both the Engineers and Blue are receiving votes in the USTFCCCA New England poll. The traditional scores are in parenthesis.
"We entered today's meet looking to test our fitness from a summer of training and start the competitive portion of our season on a positive note," remarked head coach Brian Chabot. "We definitely accomplished the latter and while we certainly have many weeks ahead of us, I'm pleased with our conditioning."
Packard placed fifth in a time of 18:49.2. Sophomore Ariana Rozen (Carver, MA), senior Emily Newman (Easton, MA), senior Lea Strangio (Watertown, MA) and freshman Keely Nistler (Vadnais Heights, MN) claimed 14th (19:34.2), 15th (19:35.1), 16th (19:39.3), and 17th (19:40.4). Sophomore Callie Schadt (Brewster, MA) posted a 30th-place 20:14.4 and junior Steffany Halfrey (Hubbardston, MA) was 35th (20:32.3).
Chabot continued, "The conditions were warmer and more humid than we should encounter later in the season but that added to the challenge in front of us. Right now we welcome any and all challenges as they'll better prepare us for when we hit championship season."
Senior Jasmine Higuera Castillo (Riverside, CA) added a 38th-place time of 20:35.7 to go with a 41st-place (20:43.8) debut by freshman Amanda Lowther (Syracuse, NY). Junior Carly Neeld (Williston, VT) handed in a 21:05.7, which was good for 49th. Senior Emma MacIntyre (Grand Island, NY) and freshman Madison Perry (Biddeford, ME) rounded out the scoring spots. Senior Gina Capobianco (Colonie, NY) also participated for the Engineers.
"I liked the way we finished off each race. I saw a ton of fight in both the women and men. With our focus on getting better each day that fight will pay dividends as we carry it forward.," concluded Chabot.
Women's Cross Country is at Moore State Park in Paxton Saturday for the Worcester City Meet.