WATERFORD, CT- Windham’s Gwen Baker finished third for University of Maine-Farmington on 14 November. Connecticut College hosted the men’s and women’s NCAA Division III New England Region Cross Country Championships Saturday. Fifty-five men’s teams faced off for the 8K and 56 schools entered their women’s teams in the 6K. Nearly 400 runners started each contest.
The UMF men placed 32nd improving thirteen places over 2014 according to TFRRS.org, the US Track & Field and XC Coaches Association website. The women at 38th climbed four spots. Robert Hollis finished 85th lowering his PR by 17 seconds. Four of the top five men ran their best times of the season.
The top three finishers in the women’s race improved personal performances. Laura Pulito finished first for UMF in 186th improving her average mile time by five seconds. The second scorer, Emma Pidden, improved her average mile as did third scorer, Baker. The freshman’s average mile dropped an impressive 14 seconds.
Baker said focus, using pack running for pace and wind deflection and believing in herself were the keys to her success.
First year coach Scott Hutchinson was pleased with his team’s performance. He had a “great group of kids who bought into the program… and achieved PRs all season.” He said, “They turned some heads at the NCAAs.” Hutchinson said the future is bright; he will lose no women from the top twelve to graduation and only two of his top seven men are seniors.