WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Opening up the 2014 competition season on Saturday, the MIT women's cross country team claimed the team title at the annual Purple Valley Classic. Ranked fourth in the most recent poll, the Engineers dominated the challenging and hill-filled course while battled temperatures in the 80s. Tech was led by top performances from junior Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) and sophomore Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) who finished 1-2 in the field of 267 women.
The 6k race was held on the same course that will be used for the New England Division III Championships on November 15th and featured numerous top-ranked programs including No. 2 Williams College, and No. 8 Middlebury College. Middlebury finished second on the day with 65 points, Tufts University was third with a team total 95 points, and host Williams College was fourth with 115 points.
Quinn returned to the trails after a year away from competition and resumed her position as one of the top runners in New England, winning the race with a final time of 22.23.9. Crossing in second, 2013 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Gong finished six seconds behind Quinn with a final time of 22.29.9.
Tech's dominance of the course continued with two additional top 10 finishes by junior Nicole Zeinstra (Holland, Mich.) and senior Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.). Zeinstra finished sixth with a final time of 22:51.4 while 2013 NEWMAC Runner of the Year, McVay added a strong ninth place finish, crossing the finish line in 22:57.4.
Rounding out Tech's top five, sophomore Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) finished in 23:20.9 to earn 18th place on the day.