NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Paced by six season-best efforts, the Mount Holyoke College cross country team posted runner-up at the 2018 Smith College Invitational. The Lyons finished just five points behind the host Pioneers, while also besting Springfield (by 3) whom they finished behind last week in the season-opener.
In what proved to be a long course of 5080 meters, rather than 5000m, the Lyons had a focused goal of beating both Babson and Springfield, both of which happened in today's event. The squad's top five spread goal was to beat 0:39, and they posted a spread of 0:35. Additionally, the team's top seven spread goal was to beat 0:54, and they had a spread of 0:41.
Focusing on going out smart and controlled, the Lyons used a steep downhill at the 600m mark to make their first moves and push past competitors on the first hill. Downhills played a major role in how and where the team was able to make their moves and take advantage.
Pacing the effort on Saturday for the Lyons was first year Sydney Nash, who was the top overall rookie finisher in the race, and seventh overall with a time of 21:04.3. Sophomore Simone Jacob was ninth with a time of 21:10.4, using an outstanding kick at the end to pass two of Springfield's runners to finish in the top-10 and best her own record on the Smith course.
Senior captain Corrin Moss took 13th overall, putting forth a course best with a mark of 21:29.3. She was followed close behind by sophomore Meryl Phair as she placed 14th with a time of 21:31.2. Rookie Jamie Day was next, recording a season's best time of 21:39.1 to take 18th.
Individually, the Lyons also excelled on the day as senior captain Hannah Gershone and junior Emma Raney were 25th (21:59.2) and 26th (21:59.3), respectively. It marked a season's best time for Gershone and a course best time for Raney. Junior Brigit Wolf was 31st overall (22:14.6), while classmate Michelle Serrano and senior Emsie Cronin were 36th (22:27.7) and 37th (22:28.7) with course bests.
Rookie Natalie Rodman posted 40th (22:30.2), classmate Sophia Anderson was 45th (22:36.2), while fellow first years Katie Milligan, Amanda Kearney and Sammi Craig were 48th (22:39.8), 59th (23:26.9) and 62nd (23:37.3).
Rounding out the efforts on the day were sophomore Olivia Wrobleski, rookies Charlotte Lindblom and Molly Lukiwsky and senior Victoria Parrish who posted 64th (23:50.5), 67th (23:54.2), 68th (23:57.8) and 70th (24:19.2), respectively.
At the end of the event, the Lyons chose their weekly team honorees. This week's honoree for the Kick of the Week was Craig, Jacob took the Runner of the Week honor, while Anderson was the Teammate of the Week.
Jamie Day -- Sophie Gronbeck
The Lyons return to action next Saturday, when they compete at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational. Action at the race begins at 12pm.