2004 Season's Weekly Race Notes

 Most recent meets first
Click on (Student Article) for school paper article
Season Depth Chart at Bottom of Page

NCAA National Championships - Nov 20th
Runner of the Week - Carter Hamill
The women returned to the National Championships for the 2nd year in a row, and their 4th trip in the last 5 years, with this year's meet being hosted by the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Competing against the best teams in the country, the team of Carter Hamill, Shauneen Garrahan, Kim Partee, Katie Moravec, Laura Mortimer, Ginger Polich and Alison Rodriguez wrapped up their season with a 12th place finish on the rolling golf course in Wisconsin with 335 points. As she has all season, and for her four years at Amherst, Carter Hamill led the team with another remarkable race worthy of All-American honors. Missy Buttry of Wartburg and Liz Woodworth of Osh-Kosh broke away from the field, and Carter led the chase pack that started with about 10 ladies and eventually broke away to a pack of 4 including herself and two runners from Williams college. Carter led the pack for the entirety of the race as the others were content to let her do all the work before they pulled away in the final 600 hundred meters. With her 5th place finish, she finished her illustrious Amherst XC career with her 4th All-American honor in a row, and now her 14th award, and is clearly the most dominant XC runner in school history. Shauneen battled illness as well as the country's best runners, and dug down hard in the last mile to finish 24th overall and earning her 2nd All-American award in XC and even getting to visit the medical tent due to the exhaustion of her effort. Kim capped an awesome first season with her gutsy performance, running essentially on one leg due to an injury suffered late in the season, and her last two races were incredible due to what she was having to deal with. Katie and Laura finished out the scoring for the team with the first ever runs at the nationals, and combined with Ginger's 6th runner showing will build on their experiences for next year. Captain Alison Rodriguez finished her XC career with an unexpected run at the national Championships, and the experience and opportunity could not have been greater deserved. Injuries and losses of key people throughout the 2nd half of the season considerably changed the complexion and dynamics of the team, and ultimately, the outlook for this meet, but with a large number of the squad returning next fall, we will certainly use the experience of the meet and the finish at the meet, as a great motivator to improve and come back with a vengeance.

Districts - Nov 13th
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Tomas Morrissey & Kim Partee
Competing against all the teams in New England, and with NCAA Qualifying spots on the line for team and individual spots, the teams raced well. With mother nature cooperating - earlier forecast called for 1-4 inches of snow in Maine, but race day only brought a cold and biting wind but the grass was dry. The men got under way first, and while a return trip to nationals was going to be a long shot, they went after it. As they hit the woods, just after 2 miles, first year sensation Tomas Morrissey had moved to within striking distance of the Top 20 and moved well within the woods to put himself into position for one of the individual spots. Matt Katz and Dave Molina were in the high 30's and mid 40's at this point, with Rich Wilson and Jack Morgan near the 100 mark. Tomas put everything on the line, keeping himself in contention for one of the spots, but came up agonizingly short as a Trinity runner passed him just before the finish line and grabbed the final individual spot. Matt Katz finished in 33rd, and joined Tomas as members of the All- New England team. Dave Molina finished just out of the All- NE team (Top 35) as he finished 37th. Rich Wilson and Jack Morgan rounded out the scoring as the men finished 10th overall.

The women have battled the injury bug for the 2nd half of the season, and this week would prove to be no different. Already battling a nagging injury to one of the top girls, we were forced to go with an alternate runner moments before the start of the race due one of the girls problems with her back. For the first half of the race, things went as had been planned. Carter and Shauneen were in the front pack of 5-6 runners looking strong, Kim Partee was running her race according to plan, and then the 4-7 group of Ginger Polich, Laura Mortimer, Katie Moravec and Alison Rodriguez were running together behind the group of Middlebury and Williams runners. Unfortunately the 2nd half of the race did not unfold as would have hoped, and we were fortunate to be able to hold onto one of the final qualifying spots with our 4th place finish, a mere 3 points from 5th and 10 points from not making the trip. Carter and Shauneen finished 5th and 6th despite losing touch with the lead group in the middle of the race and then never making a move to close back into it. Kim raced with a great deal of heart as she was able to earn All-New England honors with her 33rd place finish despite the injury to her knee that has been affecting her running for the last week or so. Ginger, Laura and Katie all managed to run under 24 minutes but had tourble responding to the moves of runners from key teams in the last half of the race, while Alison rounded out the varsity seven with her unexpected run. While other teams really stepped up and laid it on the line, no one from Amherst seemed to race spectacularly, but with a couple of people willing to do that this weekend in Wisconsin at Nationals, then who knows what might happen? Other teams have been putting together great races, while we have been running decently and this could be like a time bomb, just waiting for the right moment to explode!

ECAC's - Nov 6th
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Dave "Flea" Schreiner & Alison Rodriguez
The ECAC's at the Farm course in Grafton was the meet, and with the final roster spots on the line for the upcoming District and potential NCAA meets for some, and the last race of the season for others, it promised to be a good day. The men got things started off, and by the first mile they had established themselves nicely as the entire seven were within the top 35 of the field. Nate Freese, with a solid race this past weekend at conference, continued to step up as he moved up through the race and finished 21st and leading the team. Dave Schreiner, despite logging more laps in the pool this fall then actual miles due to an IT band injury, finished 41st and second for the team, with Mike Harbus and John Babbott coming in mere seconds after Flea. Evan Guiney rounded out the scoring for the team as he finished in 56th, and Fraser Kitchell and Cooper Knowlton rounded out the seven runners for the team. We will take advantage of a light work load this week in hopes of pulling off a major upset at the District meet in Maine.

The women got some great races from those who were wrapping up the season, with a few girls dropping over a minute from their 6k times on the same course from a few weeks ago. Katie Moravec and Laura Mortimer each earned All-ECAC honors by virtue of their Top 15 finishes, as each broke 24 minutes for the tough 6k course. Margaret Davis, rounding into form from her mid-season back injury, had a tremendous second half and nearly broke into the Top 20. Alison Rodriguez most likely finished her Amherst XC career with a huge race as she knocked off nearly 2 minutes from her 6k time from earlier this season and over a minute from her lifetime PR. Meg Ray and Lucy Sheehan both had their season's capped with outstanding runs as Meg finished 5th for the team to close out the scoring, while Lucy lowered her time from earlier in the season by well over a minute. The women will head to the District race in Maine this weekend looking to secure a berth at the NCAA's with a Top 5 finish. They will need to close up the gap between themselves and perennial powers Williams and Middlebury.

NESCAC's - Oct 30th (Student Article & Shauneen Profile)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Nathaniel Freese & Kim Partee
The teams headed north to Colby College for the NESCAC championships, and came away with solid results as well as a better idea of what needs to be done in the remaining couple of weeks to improve. Mike Erkkinen ran his best time of the season in the open section of the meet, despite the presence of some significant hills in the middle miles, to get the day started. The men's varsity race toed the line next, and with the return of Jack Morgan to the line, the guys were pumped and ready to race. With the depth and quality of the conference, there were going to be plenty of guys to race with and that proved to be correct. Tomas Morrissey had another solid race as he put himself into the Top 15 by the first mile and would move up to finish 11th by the end of the race to not only earn 2nd Team conference Honors, but also win the Rookie of the Year for the Conference as a result of being the highest placing First year runner. Matt Katz raced strong on the hills and just missed out on conference honors as he finished 16th, and Dave Molina, perhaps saving his big kick for Districts!, finished 3rd for the team in 23rd place to significantly improve on his conference finish from a year ago. Rich Wilson had company to run with for the race, as Jack Morgan made his return to the team successful as they finished 3 places apart in 43 and 46. Cooper Knowlton had another strong race to grab a varsity spot, while Nate Freese returned from an off race at Little Three's to show that he is willing to step up and help the squad and was 7th man. Overall the team finished 6th place, a mere 9 points from 4th and only 22 points away from 3rd, and will look to knock those teams off at the District meet.

The women had a great opportunity to see where they stand on the National scene as  3 of the top 5 ranked teams in the country were in the race (Williams, us and Middlebury) along with three other teams who are ranked in the Top 25. When the dust had settled, it was Williams and Middlebury tying for the title, with Amherst comfortably in 3rd. The depth of both of those teams was painfully obvious as we matched up well through the top three runners, but both teams put their top 7 runners in front of our scoring runners to earn the victory. With the district meet two weeks away, the goal will be to see who is willing to step up and fill those gaps and try and reverse the order at both the district meet, and then at the Nationals. Carter Hamill finished 3rd to earn her 4th consecutive First Team NESCAC finish, and Shauneen Garrahan earned her 2nd in a row as she would finish 5th. Kim Partee, despite spending the week cross training,  earned 2nd Team NESCAC with her 14th place run and also earned the Rookie of the Year for the Conference, as she was the highest placing first year runner. Ginger Polich had another solid race as she finished 4th for the team, and first years Katie Moravec and Laura Mortimer would finish 5th and 6th for the team, while Alison Rodriguez grabbed a varsity finish for the first time this season as she had a strong showing on the hilly course. Margaret Davis, returning from a back injury, raced for the first time in over a month, and while a little race rusty, will build on this race and be back at full strength shortly. Lucy Sheehan had another great race, as she has definitely been taking advantage of the training and has lowered her season best times in consecutive weekends and will look to crack the 20 minute barrier this weekend at ECAC's.

Little Three's - Oct 23rd (Student Article)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Rob Boley & Lucy Sheehan
In the last race of the season where the entire team would be racing ( the championship meets have squad limits), we headed down to break in the the new course at Wesleyan. The course was a great mix of open field with rolling hills, a woods loop with some tight turns and one steep hill and a great XC feel). The men got the meet started, and while we finished 3rd, we matched up very well with both Williams and Wesleyan and got some great performances. First year Tomas Morrissey led the team with his 5th place showing, and Captains Matt Katz and Dave Molina were on his heels finishing in 6th and 8th. Rich Wilson continues to race well as he finished 4th for the team, ahead of Wesleyan 4th guy, and Cooper Knowlton had one of his best races to finish the scoring as the 5th guy. Fraser Kitchell and John Babbott raced aggressively in the early stages and will continue to close the gaps. Mike Harbus was right on Babbott's heels, and then Evan Guiney, Mike Erkkinen and Rob Boley all came in within a few seconds of each other. Dave Schreiner and Nate Freese both returned from injury and got a race under their belts before Nescac's. Rom Cabeza, Ben Read and Sam Hayman posted solid results to finish out their XC season.

The women were looking forward to the showdown of National Powers (Williams 1, Amherst 3 and Wesleyan 16) in the latest NCAA Polls. Carter Hamill and Shauneen Garrahan broke away with the front pack of a Williams and Wesleyan runner, and after the dust had settled, Carter broke in the race with an Amherst victory while Shauneen grabbed 4th. Kim Partee had another strong race to grab 3rd for the team and finish 8th overall. Ginger Polich finished 13th, and then Katie Moravec closed out the scoring with her 17th place finish. Returning from injuries were Laura Mortimer and Heather WIlson in the 6th and 7th spots for the team, and should be even bigger factors next weekend. Alison Rodriguez, despite a week of sleep deprivation in preparation for her comps, raced a great race. Lucy Sheehan ran to her fastest time of the year, as she broke 21  for the first time and was followed closely by Meg Ray. Mattea Kramer had a great race, as did Julie Kim, and Liz Petrik, despite a nagging hip injury that has plagued her for the last couple of weeks raced bravely to finish her season. With the conference meet coming up this weekend, the team should be back to full strength with the return of Margaret Davis and will look to the 4-9 runners to close the gap up to the front three in hopes of challenging for their first ever conference win.

Open New England's - Oct 8th (Student Article)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Dave Molina & Meg Ray
Competing against the best teams in New England, regardless of Division, we came away with mixed results. The men raced very impressively, and showed that they could be a force as we head into the later weeks of the season, while the women were missing some of their scoring runners due to nagging injuries that needed a little more time to heal up, and were not the force that their # 2 national ranking would have indicated. The men's 19th place finish (7th amongst DIII schools) was lead by Matt Katz' 25:49 run, and followed closely by Dave Molina  - who just missed breaking 26 minutes by 2 seconds. Tomas Morrissey continued his impressive 2nd half racing to finish quickly and finish first amongst DIII first years. Rich Wilson and John Babbott each raced very well, keeping within eyesight of each other and rounding out the scoring, with Fraser Kitchell and Cooper Knowlton finishing out the varsity race. In the JV race, Evan Guiney continued moving  up throughout the race and finished first for the team. Mike Erkkinen and Mike Harbus finished within seconds of one another in the middle 28 minutes. Rom Cabeza and Rob Boley finished back to back in the placings, and Adam David was nipping at their heals as they all went under 30 minutes. Ben Read rounded out the day with a big finish to dip under 31 minutes.

The women, without the services of 4 of the Top 7 scorers from our last meet, had some holes to fill and it proved to be a little too much. Knowing that we were not going to be at full strength nor be the force that the team has the potential to be, the hope was that those racing would be able to step up their racing to offset the losses of the other scorers. Shauneen Garrahan led the team with a 15th place finish, while Kim Partee would grab 32nd overall. Ginger Polich finished 3rd for the team, and had company from Katie Moravec who dipped under 20 minutes. Heather Wilson and Alison Rodriguez closed out the scoring for the team. IN the JV race, Meg Ray had a strong race to lead the team, as she inches closer to breaking the 20 minute mark. Julie Kim, still being nagged by a lingering IT band problem, raced well and had a great second half of the race to finish 2nd for the team, with Lucy Sheehan and Mattea Kramer coming in shortly after. Liz Petrick rounded out the scoring  for the team, despite a painful hip injury.

Tufts Invite - Sept 25th (Amherst Student)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Rich Wilson & Heather Wilson
The teams headed to the Tufts course in Grafton - an honest XC course with both long ups and long downs - missing some of their runners due to the Yom Kippur holiday. The women would get their first taste of the 6k distance of the season, and with the majority of the team being first years, it was their first foray into that distance ever, but the results were very impressive. The training has been geared towards the distance, and they proved that their training has been working as they handily beat the field (of which 2 of the teams were ranked in the Top 25 of the National rankings - Tufts and Trinity) and earn their second victory of the season. Carter Hamill set the tone, as she attacked the course from the gun and wound up beating the old course record by nearly 15 seconds. Shauneen Garrahan, bothered by the lingering effects of an illness put together a solid race and a big finish to grab the runner-up spot, while Kim Partee finished 4th overall. Heather Wilson, rebounding from an off race the weekend before, had a great race here to crack the Top 10 and was followed closely by Margaret Davis in 11th to finish the scoring with 27. Vanessa Sochat  raced incredible to climb into the Top 7 for the team with her 14th place finish and Laura Mortimer came in a few steps behind to round out the 7, and earn a Top 20 finish. Ginger Polich and Katie Moravec, both dealing with the effects of the seemingly campus wide illness, raced very strong despite being well under the weather. Marcie Griffith returned to action, and had a solid race in her first one of the season.

The men racing without top runner Matt Katz, and missing several other key runners due to nagging injuries (Schreiner, Freese) posted a solid team finish. Dave Molina put himself in the Top 10 for the majority of the race before succumbing to heat and exhaustion in the waning meters of the race and crawling in at 22nd. First year Tomas Morrissey continues to improve and impress as he led the team with his 11th place finish, as he moved up throughout the entire race. Rich Wilson rebounded from a tough race this past weekend to finish 3d for the team and earn the Flash shirt. John Babbott and Evan Guiney - with a great race for him - would finish off the scoring as they grabbed the final scoring spots for the team. Cooper Knowlton and Mike Harbus rounded out the top seven for the day. Rom Cabeza had a great race, nearly breaking 30 minutes for the tough course, and racing strong in the last mile. Both teams will take the upcoming weekend off from racing and will focus on a solid week of training and getting rid of lingering injuries and illness.

UMass Dartmouth - Sept 18th (Student Article)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Katie Moravec & Fraser Kitchell
Normally the race at Umass Dartmouth is one which finds many of the kids racing their new PR's, as the course has been very kind in producing fast times due to the flat layout BUT when mother nature decides that she will intervene, then all bets are off. Running in very wet and muddy conditions, not to mention the wind, the cold and the driving rain, the teams did not leave with super fast times under their legs but still competed great. The teams were split into Varsity and Sub Varsity for the first time this season, and each produced solid showings. The men finished 6th overall and were led by the front trio of Matt Katz, Tomas Morrissey and Dave Molina who all finished within seconds of each other. Mike Harbus and Cooper Knowlton, as they did the week before, finished 4th and 5th for the team, again within a couple seconds from one another. Nate Freese returned to the lineup after missing the season opener, and immediately stepped in as the 6th man, with John Babbott rounding out the top 7, with Rich Wilson just behind him. In the sub varsity race, Fraser Kitchell stepped up to lead the team with his 24th place showing and was followed closely by Rob Boley - both of whom had big improvements from their performances from last week. Evan Guiney, who led the team through the early miles, grabbed 3rd for the team, with Mike Erkkinen finishing in the same time - well under the 30 minute mark. Rom Cabeza, despite not starting at the same time as the rest of the field due to start gazing or something grabbed the 5th place for the team, with Adam David returning to racing and finishing 6th, and Ben Read justmissing breaking the 30 minute mark.

The women implored a different racing strategy then they were used to, as we wanted to run as a pack of 6 or 7 runners through the first 2 miles before taking off after the rest of the field. The strategy forced some of the runners to keep the reigns on while others had to push harder then normal to stay in the tight group. At the two mile mark, with the pack running executed nicely, the group split and the chase was on. Carter Hamill and Shauneen took off quickly after the leaders, and made up a lot of ground in the last mile to finish 4th and 5th, and Kim Partee grabbed 12th place and 3rd for the team. Ginger Polich, continuing to show her strength Dan confidence, grabbed 4th for the team Dan 16th overall. Laura Mortimer would grab 5th for the team, while Margaret Davis - despite going for a swim in one of the many deep mud puddles - would finish 6th for the team with Heather Wilson just behind her, to round out the 2nd place finish for the team - behind Brown University. In the JV race, it would be a wave of purple ( with a little muddy brown of course) as Katie Moravec would have a great race to win the race, Dan be followed very closely by Alison Rodriguez and Vanessa Sochat - all finishing within seconds of each other and running as a tight pack throughout the entire race. Meg Ray grabbed 4th overall, and Lucy Sheehan would round out the scoring with  her 14th place finish. Mattea Kramer, Julie Kim and Liz Petrik all had solid races despite the fact that they were racing on the course in the 4th race of the day where conditions had gotten even worse.

Amherst Invite - Sept. 11th (Student Article)
Flash / Kudos Runners of the Week - Tomas Morrissey & Vanessa Sochat
Both teams got the 2004 fall season kicked off with the running our annual home invitational, competing against a relatively small field consisting of Wheaton College, Keene St., Springfield and Southern Maine. The men, who grabbed third place despite a couple of absences due to nagging injuries, ran a solid opener on the challenging course. Matt Katz would be the top finisher for the team, grabbing 6th place closely followed by Dave Molina who came in the next spot after. First year Tomas Morrissey made the jump to the 5 mile distance without much trouble as he finished in the Tee-Shirt money (Top Ten) with his 9th place finish. Cooper Knowlton grabbed 20th, with first harrier Mike Harbus coming in right after him in 21st to round out the scoring at 61 points. John Babbott and Rich Wilson rounded out the varsity seven as they came in at 23 Dan 27. Mike Erkkinen, though a senior, ran his first cross country race as he makes the jump to being a two sport athlete as he plays baseball in the spring and just missed breaking 30 minutes. Evan Guiney led Fraser Kitchell, returning to the team after taking off the fall semester last year, and closely behind them were first year Rom Cabeza, Doug Norton, Robert Boley and first time XC running Ben Read.

The women ran a very dominant race as they scored a mere 20 points to easily outdistance the rest of the field. Running a controlled race, Carter Hamill raced for the last time on the Amherst course and fittingly, grabbed the victory just ahead of Shauneen Garrahan. First year Kim Partee raced with the front pack through 2 miles before falling off but raced great to grab 4th in her Amherst debut. First year's and racing debuts was the word of the day, as the team is comprised of 12 new faces and while they may be youthful, they could be a force. Another first year, Heather Wilson raced with junior Margaret Davis for the entire race Dan the duo would finish in 6th and 7th to complete the scoring. Ginger Polich would grab the last tee shirt, as she crossed the line in 10th, and closely on her heels was another first year, Laura Mortimer who is quickly rounding into shape after spending some time on the Appalachian Trail this summer. A trio of first years would finish in 8-10th for the team, as Vanessa Sochat, Katie Moravec and Meg Ray had great races - with Katie pushing up in the scoring pack for the early stages of the race. Ali Rodriguez had a solid opener as she grabbed 22nd, and then came a crop of new faces as Mattea Kramer, Lucy Sheehan, Julie Kim, Liz Petrik and Rebecca Daily all made their Amherst debuts a success.

2004 Season Depth Chart
First Last Y Amherst Umass Tufts NE's L3's Nescac ECAC Districts NCAA
Mike Erkkinen 05 30:03 28:34 31:06 28:24 28:31 28:25 . . .
Matthew Katz 05 27:50 26:22 . 25:49 26:37 26:09 . 27:02 .
Dave Molina 05 27:52 26:32 27:56 26:02 26:49 26:25 . 27:07 .
Jack Morgan 05 . . . . . 27:11 . 28:14 .
Doug Norton 05 31:56 . . . . . . . .
Adam David 06 . 29:42 31:00 29:57 . . . . .
Evan Guiney 06 30:31 28:34 29:06 27:45 28:24 28:18 29:06 . .
Dave Schreiner 06 . . . . 28:51 28:04 28:30 . .
John  Babbott 07 29:18 27:51 28:54 27:23 28:06 28:07 28:41 . .
Robert Boley 07 32:16 28:04 30:09 29:47 28:41 . . . .
Nathaniel Freese 07 . 27:32 . . 29:44 27:21 27:59 28:38 .
Sam Hayman 07 . . . . 31:28 . . . .
Fraser  Kitchell 07 30:48 27:57 30:11 28:46 27:57 27:46 29:12 . .
Cooper Knowlton 07 28:52 27:17 29:17 29:09 27:43 27:17 29:34 30:59 .
Richard Wilson 07 29:49 28:12 28:24 27:16 27:20 27:07 . 27:59 .
Romulo Cabeza 08 31:38 29:31 30:03 29:43 29:47 . . . .
Mike Harbus 08 29:09 27:13 29:44 28:31 28:07 28:07 28:32 . .
Tomas Morrissey 08 28:05 26:30 27:14 26:22 26:22 25:51 . 26:34 .
Ben Read 08 33:01 30:11 32:10 30:52 31:26 . . . .
. . . 5k 5k 6k 5k 5k 5k 6k 6k 6k
Carter Hamill 05 18:47 18:38 21:29 . 17:53 17:58 . 21:52 21:34
Marcie Griffith 05 . . 28:19 . . . . . .
Alison Rodriguez 05 21:08 19:50 25:57 20:53 20:14 20:13 24:14 25:13 24:53
Margaret Davis 06 19:57 19:45 23:50 . . 20:27 24:08 . .
Ginger Polich 06 20:07 19:17 24:34 19:40 19:23 19:30 . 23:41 24:27
Shauneen  Garrahan 07 18:58 18:43 22:32 18:22 18:07 18:19 . 21:54 22:18
Mattea Kramer 07 21:59 21:21 . 21:36 21:45 22:08 . . .
Julie Kim 08 22:42 21:34 26:45 21:16 22:45 . . . .
Katie Moravec 08 20:40 19:47 24:39 19:49 19:40 19:54 23:36 23:59 23:59
Laura Mortimer 08 20:17 19:36 24:05 . 20:06 20:02 23:48 23:50 24:22
Kim Partee 08 19:26 19:02 22:52 18:48 18:53 18:57 . 23:12 23:32
Liz Petrik 08 23:19 22:03 28:33 26:22 25:06 . . . .
Margaret Ray 08 20:51 20:22 . 20:22 20:56 20:43 24:27 . .
Lucy Sheehan 08 22:07 21:07 26:50 21:29 20:45 20:34 25:12 . .
Vanessa Sochat 08 20:24 19:55 24:00 . . . . . .
Heather Wilson 08 19:55 19:57 23:43 20:52 20:11 21:07 24:52 . .