Women’s Cross Country Recap: Bobcats improve, gain experience
|Esther Kendall ’10 was the top Bates runner at this year’s NCAA regionals. (Photo by Tom Leonard ’78)|
The 2008 Bates women’s cross country team had another successful year, improving upon many of their key meet results from last season. Bates hosted the NESCAC Championships this season at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine. While the women finished in 7th for the second straight year, coach Jay Hartshorn was impressed with her team’s effort at the meet. “We ran great at the NESCAC meet. We were 7th for the third straight year, but we scored significantly less points than last season. We were closer to 3rd place than 8th place in terms of points. This was really a big step for us as a program.” The Bobcats also placed third at the state meet amongst a tight pack and showed excellent depth in moving up a spot from last season at the ECAC meet, placing fifth out of 42 teams.
The Bobcats’ final key meet was the NCAA New England Regional at Williams College, where the women finished 8th out of 49 teams. This was the third straight year the Bobcats finished in the top 10, and it was one spot above last year’s finish. The team’s top seven runners at the regional meet included three sophomores, three juniors and one senior. Sophomores Chloe Bourne (Litchfield, Conn.), Alex Alberto (Concord, Mass.) and Liz Rowley (Evanston, Ill.) all ran in the top four at most meets and continued to improve throughout the season.
Junior Esther Kendall (Ridgeway, Ontario) was the first Bates finisher at the NCAA Regional for the second straight year and came on strong overall late in the season. Also, showing strong potential for next season was junior Abby Samuelson (Freeport, Maine). “Abby was injured since the end of September,” said Hartshorn. “At the beginning of the year she looked like she was going to be the No. 1 runner and have a breakthrough season. Considering her running was very limited after September 25th, she really had a good year and gutted out some great performances.”
The success of the 2008 team’s youth will leave them in great shape for the 2009 season.