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Molly Burnett '02
Senior women's co-captain Molly Burnett

Amherst Cross Country Eyes Return to Nationals

September 5, 2001

For the first time in school history, an Amherst cross country team qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championship meet when the women turned in a third-place finish at the New England Regionals at UMass-Dartmouth in 2000. The top four teams in each region - including Amherst - advanced to the Division III Nationals at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, earning the right to compete on a snow-covered Wandermere Golf Course. First-team All-NESCAC and NESCAC All-Academic junior Katie Scangos finished 25th individually to lead the Jeffs to a 16th place team finish. She captured her second All-America certificate in the process, covering the 5k course in 18:34. Overall, Amherst placed an impressive seven runners in the top 160, including senior Katie Famous, juniors Molly Burnett, Emily Lobsenz, Diana Rancourt and Rebecca Woo, and first-year sensation Erinn White.

The Jeffs' performance at the Nationals capped an outstanding season that saw Scangos, Lobsenz and Famous named to the All-New England Team by virtue of their performances at the New England Regionals. Earlier in the year Woo, first-year Aparna Nancherla and junior Cecily Brewer led the team to a best-ever fourth place finish at the ECAC Championships. The women's team also placed fourth at the NESCAC Championships, 13th at the Open New Englands and won the Codfish Bowl at Boston's Franklin Park.

Despite youth and relative inexperience, the men had an extremely successful season capped by a runner-up finish at the ECAC Championships and an 11th place finish at the New England Regionals. Through the course of the season, four different runners crossed the finish line first for Amherst. Sophomore Alex Lenkoski showed marked improvement, earning All-ECAC honors and finishing 45th individually at the New England Regionals. Junior Nathaniel Robinson and first-year phenom Mike Page both earned All-ECAC accolades and traded top runner honors at several meets, while another standout first-year - John Stanton-Geddes - was the top Amherst finisher at Open New Englands. Sophomores Carson Taylor and Brett Richey and junior Ben Kozyak also raced extremely well at the varsity level.

Nat Robinson '02
Senior Nat Robinson

The Amherst women again look strong, with nearly every scoring runner returning from a squad that qualified for the program's first-ever NCAA Championship meet last season. The Jeffs are stocked with experience, including five seniors - Katie Scangos, Rebecca Woo, Molly Burnett, Emily Lobsenz and Diana Rancourt - who all ran at last year's Nationals, along with precocious sophomore Erinn White. Scangos, a two-time All-American, is one of the top runners in the nation and should help lead a very strong and deep team to a return trip to the Division III Nationals. Sophomores Aparna Nancherla and Alyson Venti, juniors Alison Dimon and Laurel Kilgour and seniors Cecily Brewer and Annie Perez also return, while first-year Carter Hamill and junior Hilary Plum - a transfer from Wellesley - should both factor into team scoring.

This year's men's team should turn heads as it returns a slew of talented underclassmen. Junior Alex Lenkoski will have plenty of company at the front of the pack as he, senior Nathaniel Robinson and sophomores Mike Page and John Stanton-Geddes could each conceivably emerge as the team's top runner. Junior James Johndrow also returns after being hampered by injuries as a sophomore, along with seniors Ben Kozyak, Martin Keck and Rusty Ryan and juniors Brett Richey and Carson Taylor. A solid cast of first-years should make their presence felt as Matt Katz, Zeke Phillips, Cameron Millard, Jack Morgan and William Greene look to break into the varsity scoring.