BRUNSWICK, Maine - Amidst cold and rainy conditions, the Mount Holyoke College cross country team put forth an outstanding effort at the 2018 NCAA New England Regional Championship on Saturday at Bowdoin College. The Lyons placed 17th among the field of 57 teams with 575 points. It marked the best finish for Mount Holyoke at Regionals in the last 10 years and a notable improvement as the Lyons were 39th a season ago.
"I saw such gutsy performances," said head coach Chris Kibler. "We only had the success that we did because our seven runners showed up and they took their opportunities. I couldn't be prouder of this team, which is most definitely one of the most special groups I've ever coached."
It was a team effort that saw MHC crush its beginning of the season goal to place in the top-25. With nearly 400 runners, the squad was faced with a course that gets very narrow after 400-meters. It was critical for them to get out hard and in a great position. That motivation proved solid for the Lyons as all seven runners go out in the top-150 by the mile mark. Pacing the effort for Mount Holyoke was sophomore Simone Jacob, who capped her outstanding second year with a 66th place finish and a personal record time at this year's regionals. She posted a time of 23:23.37 in a field of 399 runners. It marked her fourth-straight finish first across the line for the Lyons this season. Next across for MHC was senior captain Corrin Moss, who notched a time of 24:07.52 to earn 117th overall and prove her outstanding leadership of the squad.
The Lyons earned critical positions over the next four finishers as senior captain Hannah Gershone crossed 125th with a time of 24:16.73, followed by rookie Sydney Nash and sophomore Meryl Phair in 133rd and 134th. Nash posted a personal record mark of 24:21.89, while Phair was on her heels with a personal record time of her own at 24:22.78. Rookie Sophia Gronbeck then earned 168th with a personal record time of 24:50.42, followed by senior Emsie Cronin, who rounded out the field for MHC, finishing with a solid time of 25:37.33 to take 228th despite battling illness.
Overall, NEWMAC-rival MIT earned the win with 87 points, followed by Middlebury (108), Williams (115), Brandeis (136) and Tufts (159). Coast Guard sophomore standout Kaitlyn Mooney took the individual honors, winning the race in a time of 20:43.74.