Haverford, Pa. – The Bryn Mawr cross country team got their postseason off to a great start earlier Saturday afternoon. The Owls took home a sixth-place finish in the 2014 Centennial Conference Championship, just points shy of Muhlenberg ahead of them in fifth.
Johns Hopkins took home the conference crown with a 20-point first place finish and four out of the top five individual spots. Dickinson followed close behind in second with 52 points. Hosts Haverford (86) and fellow tri-co member Swarthmore (99) rounded out the top four in the event.
The sixth-place finish for the Owls ties their finish in last year's race, but the Owls improved upon their scoring considerably, moving from 190 points last year to 175 this time around. The finish also ties the best placement for Bryn Mawr since the late 1990s.
Bryn Mawr was led by Hannah Hastings, who continued her spectacular season by finishing 15th individually in the event, coming up just short of all-conference honors. The 23:08 finish is the junior's best time ever at the conference meet.
Freshman Kate Edwards continued her impressive first season as an Owl by finishing second for the team. Edwards completed the event in a time of 23:56, good enough for 36th overall. A pair of seniors followed in the third and fourth positions for Bryn Mawr, with Kim Wiley racing in at 24:15 for 45th place. Elaine Schmidt followed that with a 24:34 to take 55th overall. Freshman Rebekah Gallop closed out the top five with a 65th-place finish and a time of 24:48.
Alex Beda posted a 26:12 finish, while Sydney Maves and Ashley Macina each had breakout races themselves. Both clocked in times under their previous personal records, with Maves running a 25:48 and Macina finishing in 26:55. Also slogging it out through the muddy course were Betsy Helm, Yue Yang and Sophia Randazzo, each running solid times to close out the varsity race.
In the junior varsity competition, Adrianna Castilla Hernandez, Margaret Patchin, Taoran Ye and Jocelyn Martinez all put up really great times for how bad a shape the course was in after being tread upon in the earlier varsity races. In fact, Martinez was able to run the course in a time under her personal record as well, despite the nasty conditions.
"We have really solidified ourselves as a solid middle-of-the-pack team in one of the best distance conferences in the country," said an excited Jason Hewitt, head coach for the Owls. "This was a great showing for the team, but we are still hungry to keep climbing the conference standings as well. We hope to be a bit closer to Muhlenberg in another two weeks."
The Owls will continue training hard over the next couple of weeks as the team prepares to go to the NCAA Mideast Regional. This year's regional competition will be held in Newville, Pennsylvania on November 15th at 11:00 AM. You can still catch the Owls at home however, as the team will take part in Alumnae Day festivities next Saturday in an effort to stay sharp and prepare for the all-important regional competition.