Women's Cross Country

 
WXC Travels To 37th Annual Paul Short Invite

At last year's meet, Claire Pettit was the top finisher for UMass.

At last year's meet, Claire Pettit was the top finisher for UMass.

Sept. 29, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass women's cross country team is set to compete in the historic, 37th annual Paul Short Invite on Friday, October 1 at 11:45 a.m. in Bethlehem, Pa. The meet always has one of the largest fields of competitors of the entire season, and last year had a meet record of 5,000 total runners.

Course maps, directions, and general information can be found here.

Last Time Out
UMass played host to four teams (Maine, Boston College, Vermont, Amherst) two weekends ago at the UMass Home Meet (9/18) with the Minutewomen taking fourth place with 78 points. Courtney Baldwin headlined the finishers for the second straight week, taking fifth place overall with a time of 17:58.

Senior Gina Perno grabbed a 12th place finish (18:18) while junior Karen Roa was close behind in 15th place at 18:24. Elizabeth Fisk (18:37) and Sarah Barrett (18:54) rounded out the top five finishers for UMass with respective 19th and 28th place finishes.

First Points
At the UMass Home Meet, freshman Sarah Barrett scored the first points in her UMass career by placing in the team's top five finishers. Barrett crossed at 18:54 which slotted her at 28th overall and fifth on the team.

 

 

Last Year In Bethlehem
At last year's Paul Short Invitational, the Minutewomen took 36th place out of 40 teams in what was the biggest field of competitors in the meet's history. Out of the 5,000 runners in attendance, 363 competed in the Gold Division (Division I schools).

Sophomores Claire Pettit (22:11) and Karen Roa (22:26) had respective finishes of 124th and 155th place. Lauren Stocker (22:35), Gina Perno (22:41), and Danielle Allocco (23:30) rounded out the top five finishers for UMass at the meet.

Coaches Poll Results
According to the Atlantic 10 Women's Cross Country Coaches Poll released on Tuesday, September 28, (which can be accessed here) UMass currently ranks sixth out of the 14 teams in the conference.

Division I Debuts
At the B.C. Invite on Sept. 11, six UMass runners made their Division I Cross Country debuts: Sarah Barrett, Christine McNaughton, Caroline Conena, Melody Lam, Caprice Cappuci, Nicole Bishop.

Captains
Seniors Kristin Darling and Lauren Stocker will captain this year's XC team. Darling did not see any cross country action in 2009 but competed throughout the indoor and outdoor track seasons. Stocker was a UMass top-five finisher in five out of six meets and also added a 49th place finish at the A-10 Championships by crossing at 21:24.

Baldwin's Back
As a freshman, Courtney Baldwin made an instant impact on the team's success in 2009. At the New England Championships on Oct. 10 Baldwin ran in the first cross country meet of her life, placing first on the team and 16th overall with a time of 18:22. She proceeded to place first on the team over the course of the final three meets and by season's end had racked up A-10 All-Conference honors, the A-10 Rookie of the Year award, a ninth place finish at the A-10 Championships, three A-10 Rookie Performer of the Week awards (Oct. 12-31), and one A-10 Performer of the Week award (Oct. 12).

Stellar Seniors
The Minutewomen currently boast two strong seniors that should provide the squad with consistency for the 2010 campaign. Redshirt senior Shiyi Zan finished inside the team's top-five finishers in all five meets she competed in and was the team's second place finisher in the last four meets of the 2009 season. The Ottawa, Ontario, native received 2009 A-10 Academic All-Conference Honors and was also named the 2009 UMass Women's Fall Scholar Athlete. Gina Perno will also return in 2010, and was a model of consistency throughout the 2009 season. Perno ran in all seven of the team's meets and placed inside the squad's top-five finishers in six of them.

Dynamic Duo
Experienced juniors Karen Roa and Claire Pettit found success last year and will look to continue the trend. At the A-10 Championships on Oct. 31, Roa placed third on the team and 19th overall with a time of 20:40. Pettit posted a time of 20:47 at the meet and finished fourth on the team and 26th overall. The duo combined to place in the squad's top-five finishers on 11 occasions, and will look to improve upon this number for the coming season.

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