On Tuesday night, the women’s cross country team improved its scores since the Paul Short Invitational when it competed in an unscored six-kilometer race at the Haverford College Invitational Meet. Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College and Elizabethtown College also competed in the race.
“This meet was as important as the Paul Short Invitational,” head coach Tim Collins said. “The girls did well, and their times have improved since then.”
The top runner for the Lions at Haverford – who has been their top runner all season – was junior Jenna Fasulo, who finished with a posted time of 22:09, placing 11th in the race. Not far behind her was freshman Sara Best, with a time of 22:01, placing 12th overall.
Underclassmen have contributed a lot to the team’s success thus far. “We lost a lot of seniors last season,” junior Kara Horner said. “We have a strong group of juniors, but our freshmen are doing quite well.” Horner also had a great showing at the meet on Tuesday, coming in with a posted time of 22:37 and finishing 18th overall.
Collins was also quite impressed with the way the freshmen performed on Tuesday. “We had two freshman girls bringing up the back.”
Most of the girls, however, attribute their success to the closeness of their team and their strong ability to work together. “The team is close,” Best said. “We stay together and we work hard to close in gaps.”
Staying in packs is a popular cross-country technique. Because the girls stay together on the course, they are able to form a good support system for each other.
Although the team does have its strong players, the outcome of each meet is not entirely predictable. “Every race is a mix,” Horner said.
Collins said he could not be happier with the way the team is performing so far this season. “We are progressing as we want to for the end of the year,” Collins said.
The team will be traveling to Easton, Pa. on Saturday to compete at the Lafayette College Invitational meet. After that, they head to the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships at Richard Stockton College.