This past Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to the Connecticut College Invitational and despite tough conditions had decent races with the former finishing seventh out of 18 teams and the latter ending in sixth place out of 19 teams. The weather on race day ended up being quite windy, slowing runners down significantly. 

The Conn. College Invitational was the team’s last meet before the final stretch of the season, which includes the University Athletic Association Invitational, the New England Division III Regional Championships and potential NCAA Championship bids. 

With a great beginning to the season—the two squads finished within the top-10 teams of each meet so far this year—the teams figured they would have trouble competing with the same consistency during every race, according to Quinton Hoey ’17. 

“Overall [the team] had a bit of an off day, but we have had an amazing season so far so it is okay to have an off day every now and again,” said Hoey. 

The men’s team still ran a solid race accumulating 186 points to earn their seventh-place finish. Hoey lead the pack for the Judges, the first time this year he was their first finisher, covering the eight-kilometer race in 26 minutes, 28 seconds. Hoey finished in 17th place overall out of 212 competitors and missed All-Invitational honors by just three seconds. 

Hoey expressed some discontent with the times on Saturday but said it was due in part to the conditions of the race.

“My time was slow,” he said. “To be honest, all the times were slow yesterday. The whole field ran roughly thirty seconds slower than normal. It was windy and just a slow day.”

The next two Judges’ runners, Jarret Harrigan ’15 and Mitchell Hutton ’18, finished in 23rd and 44th place respectively, running times of 26:43 and 27:06. 

Harrigan finished 13 seconds off his time last year, but still saw a 12-place increase in 23rd place. Hoey saw a similar trend, finishing 15 places above his placement last year, but his time increasing by a full second. 

The Judges’ two remaining runners to score at the invitational were Liam Garvey ’18 and Liban Aiden ’16, who finished with finishes of 27:07 and 27:33 to finish in 45th place and 66th place respectively for the Judges. 

The women’s team felt the same way about their performance in the six-kilometer race, taking sixth with 188 points.

 Maddie Dolins ’17 led the pack for the squad, coming in 10th overall. She completed the course in 22:43, eight seconds ahead of her next competitor but three behind the runner ahead of her. 

“I was a little disappointed about my time, but the weather conditions definitely affected most competitors times,” she said. “Now that we all have a 6K under our belts, I look forward to racing at UAAs and seeing how we can do as a team.”

The next two runners to finish for Brandeis were Kelsey Whitaker ’16, finishing 28th with a time of 23:33, and Lydia McCaleb ’17, who finished in 38th place in 23:47. 

Kyra Shreeve ’18 and Ashley Piccirillo-Horan ’17, who took 50th place and 83rd place, respectively, rounded out the Judges’ scorers. Shreeve covered the course in 23:56 while Piccirillo-Horan ran a race of 24:33. 

“Considering the weather conditions and that this was our first 6K race of the season, I thought our team did very well overall,” Dolins said. “It was very exciting for us to come in [sixth] place and shows that we are becoming stronger.”

Both squads will return to action on Nov. 1 for the UAA Championships, hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.