Donovan sets course record in cross-country’s second place finish

The College’s men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their strong start to the season with second place showings at the Connecticut College Invitational. This comes a week after the Lions’ first meet, in which the men and women combined for six dual meet wins.

“It’s early in the season for us but it was a good meet,” Tim Collins, head coach for the men and women said. “We’re still just getting into things.”

The men’s team beat out 18 other schools, finishing just behind Southern Connecticut State. Senior Brian Donovan set a course record in the 8,000-meter run with a time of 25:20. The previous record was set last year in 25:33 by former Lion Adrian Cline.

Junior Matt Randal and seniors Joe Lacovara-Switzer and Matt Molski also put up top-20 finishes in the 8,000 meter race.

“(Randal) has made a big jump this season,” Collins said. “He’s been running really well for us and has shown significant improvement.”

Meanwhile, the women’s team placed second out of 12 teams, finishing behind only Tufts University.

The women’s 5,000-meter run featured seven Lions runners out of the first 21 finishers. Junior Jenna Fasulo put up the top Lions time of 19:22, earning her an eighth-place finish. The race was won by Wellesley College junior Tracy Bessett in 18:38.

Freshmen Julie Ullmeyer, Sara Best and Erin Enderly put up impressive times, finishing 9th, 11th and 12th, respectively.

Collins said that he was encouraged by seeing freshmen runners contribute early in the season. On the men’s side, he singled out freshman Brian Kopnicki, who took 33rd place in the 8,000-meter course.

Overall, Collins is encouraged by what he has seen so far this season. “We beat some pretty good teams,” he said. “We’re running pretty quick for this early in the year.”

The ultimate goal, Collins said, is to gear up to run the fastest races at the end of the season, when the teams will compete in the regional and national meets. “We want to get top 10 in nationals and get some candidates for All-Americans,” he said. Collins also said he wants to capture the conference title.

“Collectively, we want to run up to our potential,” he said. “We need to improve to see how good each person can get.”

The men’s and women’s teams will continue their season on Sept. 25 at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. at 9:30 a.m.