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Contributing to a weekend full of Tiger athletics victories, cross country concluded its season at the NCAA championships in Madison, Wis. Women’s cross country finished 21st in the nation, and men’s finished 22nd.

Capitalizing on its tremendous depth, women’s cross country finished its season with a strong showing. In the championship race, senior captain Allie Klimkiewicz led the Tigers; the team had an impressively small 26-second spread across its top five scorers. This was the smallest spread among all 31 teams in the championship race. Yet another illustration of the team’s depth is that the Tigers concluded their season with a different Tiger leading the pack in almost each race. 

Sophomores Sophie Cantine and Melia Chittenden and first-year Gillian Wagner were all front-runners at some point in the season. While the team placed in third at Heps three weeks prior, the Tigers finished above Dartmouth, the only other Ivy League team at the NCAA championships.

“We truly went out there and ran for each other. Our seniors are such a strong class and have had a huge, positive impact on the program, and our team will certainly be different without them. Going into next year, hopefully we can carry our momentum forward,” Cantine said.

Men’s cross country placed 22nd overall — a notable improvement from last year’s finish at 28th. While 22nd in the nation is not a shabby accomplishment, the team had hoped for a higher finish. 

“We had a lot of success throughout the season and showed consistency in our racing. We would have liked to have finished a little higher at the NCAA meet but can definitely take it as a positive learning experience,” junior Conor Lundy said. Head coach Jason Vigilante said it was a “tough day” but referenced “optimism” that Lundy, along with all the other scorers at NCAAs, will return next season.

Overall, the team certainly had a fruitful season, capturing a repeat Heps championship and winning the Mid-Atlantic NCAA region. Looking to 2019, the team hopes to help track and field capture the indoor and outdoor Heps titles. 

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