Pioneers Finish Third in Seven Sisters Cross Country Championship

Tzionna Breitbart ‘16 | The Pioneers are now ranked no. 22 in the US Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association poll.

Tzionna Breitbart ‘16 |
The Pioneers are now ranked no. 22 in the US Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association poll.


Erin Richards ’14
Sports Editor

This past Saturday, Oct. 19, the Seven Sisters Cross Country Championship was held on the Smith College course. The Pioneers finished third overall, just following Vassar in first place and Wellesley in second. Vassar regained the championship title, after finishing second the year before to Wellesley, and are now ranked No. 22 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll. With three of their runners placing in the top ten, their overall score was 38, defeating Wellesley by 17 and Smith by 35. Smith was followed by St. Catherine University with 110, Bryn Mawr with 121, Mount Holyoke with 139 and Simmons College with 202.

Coming in first for Smith, Danielle Opatovsky ’16 placed third out of the 94 runners, with a time of 18:59.9. Micaela Young ’14 finished second for Smith and seventh overall with a time of 19:32.8. Kylee Drugan-Eppich ’14 finished third for Smith and 15th overall with a time of 19:59, followed by captain Abby Mosca ’14, finishing 23rd with a time of 20:24. Cynthia Masai ’16 finished at 20:28 in 25th place. Victoria Dunch ’14 had a time of 20:34, coming in at 33rd place, followed by Katie Paulson-Smith ’16 (20:47), Sarah Sutto-Pluntz ’17 (21:45), Charlotte Dzialo ’16 (22:00), Rebecca Colfer ’17 (22:02), and Sophie Dilek ’17 (22:12).

Dunch was extremely impressed with the team’s overall performance. She explained that most of Pioneer runners ran times close to those the week before at the Open New England Championships, which was a notable feat given the nature of the course this week. Said Dunch, “Everyone was really strong and it was a high energy race.” The team always prepares for races with a twenty-minute warm up run, strides, drills, and an inspirational quote read by Mosca ’14. Although the pre-race ritual was the same as always, the Seven Sisters Championship is a special meet with sentimental value. Bringing together five of the original Seven Sister schools is a great way to carry on traditions, as well as indulge in some friendly competition. Following the meet, Smith held a banquet, allowing everyone to sit down and enjoy each other’s company.

With only two meets left, the Pioneers have had a strong season. Dunch looked back at her past four years of being on the team, saying, “As a senior, this is definitely the strongest team we’ve ever had. I wish we could have had this team for all four years. It’s not just the strongest, but the closest team as well. The first years have really made a huge difference.” Dunch is excited to finish her last season on a collegiate team and give each race her all.

The next meet is the NEWMAC championship. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Franklin park in Boston. Race time is 11 a.m.

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