With recent graduates such as  Emily Bryson ’19 —  a nine-time All-American and four-time national champion — as well as the rest of last year’s seniors moving on from Brandeis, this year’s team has big shoes to fill. However, this past Friday’s meet at the Wellesley Invitational saw the start of a promising 2019 season for both the Brandeis men’s and women’s cross country teams, proving that the team still possesses more than enough talent to have an amazing season. At their first meet of the season, the Brandeis Judges competed against schools such as Wentworth Institute of Technology, Regis College, Lasell College and Wellesley College. 

Men’s Team

The men’s team claimed first place overall, with an amazing 23 points separating them from the runner up, Wentworth. The team ran an average 5K of 17:11.0 seconds and had members claim all top three spots. Coming in first place was Mark Murdy ’21. Murdy, who did not compete last year due to injuries, started this season off strong. He ran a total time of 16:42.6 seconds with his average mile being 5:22.7 seconds. Casey Bracket, a first year from Wakefield, Massachusetts, followed just over 14 seconds after Murdy to take second place. Alec Rodgers, a senior, then went on to claim the bronze with a time of 17:00.9 seconds. Dan Curly ’21 and Jacob Judd ‘21 also placed sixth and tenth, respectively. 

Women’s Team

The women’s team did not claim an overall victory. Wellesley took first place with the Judges just four points behind, running an average 5k of 19:46 seconds.  Andrea Bolduc ’21 ran a 5k time of 18:59.2 seconds overall and an average mile of 6:06.6 seconds. This is Bolduc’s first ever first place win at the collegiate level. Sophomore Erin Magill took the bronze with senior Danielle Bertaux and first year Bridget Packard taking fifth and tenth, respectively.  

The Judges have a full season set up for them. In addition to Bracket, the men’s team also gained Siva Annadorai ’21. Victoria Morrongiello ’23 and Bridget Packard ’23 also joined the women’s team. 

The teams’ next meet is the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational at the end of September. They will then travel to compete in the Keene State Invitational, the Connecticut College Invitational and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Finally, in November, the Judges head out to the University Athletic Association Championship and NCAA regional and national championships. 

In an interview with the Justice, sophomore Jac Guerra ’22 explained that the teams goal is "Building depth, considering that we have a small team. We really want to develop the runners who have been putting in a lot of consistent work the past couple of seasons and see their efforts pay off. We would like to return to Nationals in November and be able to repeat a strong performance at Cross Regionals in Maine." Additionally, the class of 2023 has brought much tallent. Guerra explained, "Our freshmen are great! Bridget and Victoria both are coming off of great summers of training, and both performed well at our first meet. Bridget really stepped up to the plate at Wellesley this past weekend, and Victoria has posted some incredible high school times on the track. Our transfer Kate, who is a sophomore coming off a year at Colby College in Maine, also has proven to be a valuable addition to the team.”