Jeffs Win Both Ends of Amherst Invite to Open Season

Senior Kate Moravec placed second overall to lead the Amherst women.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College cross country teams kicked off the 2007 season in victorious fashion, as both the men and women dominated the season opener. Despite extremely hot and humid conditions, as well as a heavy training load from the days leading up to the meet, the Lord Jeffs fared well and looked very strong.

The Amherst men – racing a 5k rather than the typical five-mile distance – took home the first victory of the year for the college, as they finished with 18 points to win the seven-team invitational. The Jeffs swept the first four scoring places, with only four seconds separating first-year Will Yochum (Goleta, CA), senior co-captain Mike Harbus (New York, NY), and sophomores Carlyle Eubank (Santa Ynez, CA) and Dan Murner (Crestwood, KY). The quartet ran alongside eventual winner Florian Reichert – who is waiting to confirm his Amherst College eligibility - for the majority of the race. Sophomore Eric Holaday (Moorestown, NJ) closed out the scoring with his ninth-place finish, while junior co-captain Peter Foote (Shelburne, VT) placed 14th.

Four first-years made strong debuts for the Jeffs, as Peter Harrison (Concord, NH), John McGrail (Arlington, VA), Kevin Hanley (Manhattan Beach, CA) and Ben Mears (Macedon, NY) ran alongside sophomore Steven Grigelevich (Cumberland, RI), all placing in the top 25 and within nine seconds of each other.

The Amherst women ran a controlled effort tempo, focusing on pack running rather than an all-out race effort, and implemented the plan to perfection. Senior Katie Moravec (Chico, CA) placed second overall to lead the Jeffs, and was followed by seven of her teammates, including reigning NESCAC Rookie of the Year Sophia Galleher (Denver, CO) in third place and junior Elise Tropiano (Plainview, NY) in fourth. Rounding out the top eight were senior co-captain Heather Wilson (Danvers, MA), junior Nicole Anderson (Kailua, HI), and seniors Laura Mortimer (Jackson, MS) and Meg Ray (Menands, NY).

Junior Caitlin McDermott-Murphy (Newton, MA) looked strong as she finished 14th, with first-years Kristen Ballinger (Wenatchee, WA) and Hallie Schwab (Stone Ridge, NY) coming in a few seconds later in 17th and 18th, respectively. Sophomore Catherine Knuff (Fairfield, CT) led the next pack of Amherst runners, as she and first-years Christina Wong (Honolulu, HI), Mercedes Taylor (Falls Church, VA), Melissa Pritchard (Washington, DC) and Cara Giaimo (Sherborn, MA) all finished within 20 seconds of each other to crack the top 30.

The Amherst teams return to action Saturday, Sept. 15 for the UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational.