Women’s cross country races to 11th at Iona Meet of Champions

Andrea Lorelli

The women’s cross country squad traveled to Van Cortland Park in New York for the Iona Meet of Champions. The meet included Big East rivals University of Pittsburgh and University of Connecticut, as well as Princeton, Yale and several other very competitive teams.

Princeton was able to take first place honors, scoring 36 points while Yale finished in second place with 119 points. Pitt finished third with 181 points and the Huskies scored 221 points to beat out the Wildcats by one point to finish in 10th place.

The ‘Cats placed 11h with 222 points with several of their top runners still sitting out. Only five of Villanova’s runners competed in the race. Juliette Kenny, the star of last weekend’s Haverford Invitational, put together an even more impressive performance, finishing in 22:02 minutes for sixth place. Colleen Taylor crossed the line 39 seconds later to grab 18th place. Bridget Akard (33rd), Carrie Joyce (67th) and Claudine Evangelista (98th) completed to race in 23:08, 23:47, and 24:29, respectively.

Head coach Gina Procaccio continues to notice the improvement of Kenny. “Juliette ran approximately 2:30 minutes faster this year than she did in the same race two years ago as a freshman,” she said. “That is a huge improvement.”

“I think the team is training very hard right now, Kenny said about her year so far and her recent success. “When we are fully fit and racing together, we will be very hard to beat. I’m very fortunate to have such talented training partners who have been pulling me along through the workouts.”

Considering that approximately five of the ‘Cats’ top seven runners aren’t running yet, their 11th place finish has little or no relation to how the rest of this strong team’s season will play out. The Wildcat women were ranked fifth in the nation coming in to their season, but have dropped to eighth. The women’s next race is this weekend at Lehigh University.