2007 Cross Country Recap

Climbing the Ladder to Success

If the 2007 Cross Country season is an indication of things to come at Saint Mary’s, there is reason for excitement and jubilation.

The tone for the season was set at the Thunder Invitational the first Saturday in September when Saint Mary’s runners took three of the top five individual spots en route to claiming the team title. In her first collegiate race, Samantha Wieczorek finished first overall by running the 5K event in 21:58.

During the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Tri-State, the Belles posted their first ever finish in the top half of the league by finishing fourth. Megan Gray showed once again she is a force in the league by finishing 6th overall in 20:00.

At one of the biggest in season events in the nation during the last weekend of September, Saint Mary’s posted a ninth place finish out of 21 teams at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in Chicago. Running against DII schools, Gray posted another top 10 finish with a time of 19:02 over the 5K course.

The next weekend at the Benedictine Invitational the Belles won their second team title of the season in the eight team event. Gray and Wieczorek were the top scorers once again with first and fifth place finishes respectively. In the final tune-up before the league championships the following weekend, Gray set the College 5K record by winning the Manchester Invitational in 18:26. As a team Saint Mary’s finished third in the nine team field.

The season culminated the last weekend of October when the Belles posted a College best fourth place finish at the MIAA Championships. During the event Gray ran the 6K course in a Saint Mary’s record 22:18 which topped the previous record by 1:26 which she set during the 2006 Championships. Gray finished second overall at the meet and earned First-Team MIAA honors for the second straight year.

While Gray’s graduation will hurt the Belles, they return a host of runners for the 2008 season as they continue to climb higher in the MIAA standings.