Women’s cross country finishes third at Big East

Leslie Combs

Running together for the first time this fall, the women showed why they are worthy of national attention when they placed third in the Big East Cross Country Championships Nov. 1.

“We wanted to finish strong,” junior Carre Joyce said. “We have a tough conference, but we are definitely able to do it.”

The ’Cats 88 points left them 19 shy of the winner Notre Dame’s 69 and 18 behind Georgetown’s 70, but what was impressive was who did not beat ’Nova last Friday. Ranked in the top 10 coming into Big East, Providence finished one point behind the ’Cats, cementing ’Nova as one of the top 20 teams in the country. Previously this season the ’Cats lost to the Friars at the Penn State Invitational.

The Fighting Irish duo of Lauren King and Molly Huddle took the individual and runner-up titles of the 6k race in 20:23 and 20:28.

Once again sophomore Ioana Parusheva was ’Nova’s frontrunner, finishing in eighth place in 20:50. Parusheva went out with the lead pack in first two miles, but began to back off as others passed her before she began passing others herself in the final stretch.

“I think that we did pretty well, but personally I wasn’t pleased,” Parusheva said. “I thought I could have finished better. You always want to do your best and you really just go out there and race.”

Freshman Marina Muncan remained close behind her teammate throughout the race and finished in eighth in 20:58.

Sophomore Kalin Toedebusch sneaked in the top 20 finishing 19th in 21:27, followed by junior Rebecca Mitchell in 21st in 21:29.

Joyce brought in the fifth and final score with her 29th-place finish in 21:50.

“I think everyone was happy,” Joyce said of the team’s finish overall. “Since it was the first time we came together to run as a team, it is kind of a stepping stone to nationals. We are just coming on now, and it just gave us a lot of confidence for the next two races.”

The ’Cats final races, Mid Atlantic, the Regionals and Nationals, are even more important than the conference championships.

“We have to stay committed and concentrate and not be distracted,” Parusheva said. The women will continue to train through Regionals and will not begin to taper until Nationals approaches. ’Nova is hoping that their success thus far will continue to follow them into the post season.

“I think so far we have done pretty well,” Parusheva concluded. “We just have to look for the next race and just have to keep focus.”