The Brandeis Cross Country team faced off against other universities at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 21. Present at the meet were schools Suffolk College, Assumption College, Bridgewater State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Regis College, among others. This was the Judges’ second meet of the season for both the men and women. Last we saw the teams, they recognized the shoes they had to fill with the graduation of Emily Bryson ’19 and Julia Bryson ’19. Here, the Judges continued to step up to the plate and push to be the best they can be.

The Brandeis women placed 13th in the meet and 10th amongst the DIII colleges. One race the Judges took part in was the women’s five-kilometer run, where the women had a strong showing, but failed to place in the top 10. Suffolk’s Emily Manfra placed first with a time of 17:51.72, and it took just over an additional minute before a Brandeis runner placed. Erin Magill ’22 placed 13th in the race with a time of 18:54.59 and the next Brandeis runner did not finish for another minute and a half, as Bridget Goddeeris ’23 placed 68th. The number of runners who placed in between Magill and Goddeeris proved that it was clearly a very tight race. Afterwards, Hannah Walsh ’22 placed 98th with a time of 20:47.33. No other Brandeis runner placed in the top 100 out of 263 in the race.

For the men, the Judges placed seventh as a team in the meet and fourth among the DIII colleges. One of their events was the five-mile run. Mark Murdy ’21 was the top finisher for the Judges in this race placing eighth with at time of 25:30.21. This was less than a minute after the first place finisher, Trinity College’s Weyessa McAlister. Overall, the men placed a substantial number in the top 100 finishers in this race. It was not long before Matthew Driben ’22 placed 17th for the Judges with a time of 25:53.22. There was then a 34-person gap  in Brandeis before Dan Curley ’20 placed 51st for the Judges with his time of 26:53.00. Alec Rodgers ’20 was not far behind, placing 61st with his time of 27:09.38 .Casey Brackett ’23 placed 75th with a time of 27:40.08, making him the final runner for the Judges to place in the top 100. Several other runners for the Judges did place in those following the 200 mark.

Looking ahead, the teams will face a variety of opponents. While the Judges only had one meet in September, they will have two different matchups in October. The first will be Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Keene State Invitational, and the second will be on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Connecticut College Invitational. The team will not face any University Athletic Association rivals until November, so the team has two more opportunities to sharpen their skills before racing against other teams in the UAA.