Media, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr cross country team opened their 2015 season with aplomb earlier Tuesday evening. In their own invitational, the Owls posted some impressive times that should set a great foundation for a very successful rest of the year.
Personal records can be hard to come by on the Bryn Mawr home course at Rose Tree Park in Media. However, the Owls saw two of them today, and out of two of their first-year runners. Kinbrae Sperstad and Chelsea Thangavelu put up times of 32:39 and 22:06, respectively on what is one of the more challenging courses in the area. "That says a lot about their summer preparation and the work they've done so far throughout the preseason," complimented Bryn Mawr head coach Jason Hewitt.
The Owls pace group at the front put up a solid two miles of calm and relaxed running at a good tempo. Although she didn't complete the entire race, senior Alex Beda played a big role in helping set up her fellow runners for a great third mile. "Alex is a great pacer," stated Hewitt. "We had her pace out just the first two miles for the team today to give her a bit of a break, but she still set them up perfectly for the third mile."
Hannah Hastings (21:15) and Kate Edwards (21:36) both took off in the third mile at a terrific clip, which was to be expected for two of the Owls leading returners. What may have come more as a pleasant surprise was that runners like Rebekah Gallop (21:38), Thangavelu, and Marina Herbst (22:32) responded to that surge and put on great showings of their own. First-year Sophie Webb (24:14) also had a great third mile in the next pack of runners, nearly closing the gap to the front group in the final push to the finish line.
The next group was led out by junior captain Jocelyn Martinez and senior Margaret Patchin. Those veterans did a great job of setting a solid pace for the first-years in their pack, including Mary Cooper (27:55), Lily Falk (27:55), and Sarah Ledger (28:08). The final pack included Sperstad, Maura Fitzpatrick (32:50), and senior captain Marissa Mirecki.
"This team has tremendous depth," Hewitt proclaimed. "It's just enjoyable to watch them race out on the course not as single runners, but as one cohesive unit. It's going to be a lot of fun this year watching the group develop!"
The Owls will be right back in action on Saturday as they travel to the Delaware Valley University Invitational at 10:00 AM.