Women's cross country set for 2019 season
The Holy Cross women’s cross country team gets its 2019 campaign underway on Saturday, Aug. 31 at a tri-meet with the University of New Hampshire and Providence College in Durham, N.H.
Now entering her senior year, Jenna Gasparrini will look to build off her historic 2018 season, in which she placed second at the Patriot League Championship, earning All-Patriot League first team honors. She later finished 24th at the NCAA Northeast Regional, earning a USTFCCCA All-Northeast Region selection. Gasparrini additionally earned a spot on the Patriot League’s All-Academic team.
“I think last year, she surprised quite a few people,” said cross country head coach Jim Kavanagh about Gasparrini. “She’s really been a frontrunner for her entire career, so she doesn’t sit back and give the race to someone else, she’ll go with the leaders all the time. And she ended up 24th in the NCAA Regional … that puts her in contention to qualify for the NCAA Championships this year.”
Kavanagh noted that he expects junior Elizabeth Graves to be a frontrunner for the Crusaders after a strong summer of training. Last season, she finished in 80th place at the Patriot League Championships in a 6K time of 24:12.9.
“A girl with a lot more recently developed confidence is Elizabeth Graves,” Kavanagh said. “Jenna and Elizabeth have been running next to each other in every practice session and alternating who’s doing the leading. Something that’s going to help Jenna, while she has the talent on her own to work on her own, is having Elizabeth right next to her. That’s going to relieve some of the load from Jenna and let her concentrate a little more on what has to be done personally.”
Senior Allison McArdle looks to round out a strong top three for the Crusaders; she placed 42nd at last year’s Patriot League Championships, running a 23:16.7.
Holy Cross placed seventh out of 10 teams at last year’s Patriot League Championship. Other top returners who finished inside the top 90 for Holy Cross at the league meet in 2018 include sophomore Michaela Halloran (66th, 23:46.0), sophomore Emily Foley (74th, 24:01.5), and junior Caitlin Tzimorotas (86th, 24:20.0).
Select competitors will run at the National Catholic Invitational on Sept. 20. Holy Cross will race at the Paul Short Run, one of the largest cross country meets in the nation, on Oct. 5 , and the New England Championships will take place on Oct. 12.
The Patriot League Championship is scheduled for Nov. 2 in Hamilton, N.Y., while the NCAA Northeast Regional is on Nov. 15 in Amherst, N.Y.