Glassboro, N.J. – Sophomore Melissa Fitzgibbon was Elizabethtown’s top female finisher at the Inter-Regional Border Battle hosted at DREAM Park in Gloucester County at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19.
Fitzgibbon and the rest of the Elizabethtown women’s cross country team competed in the Division III Women’s Championship 6,000 meter race on this sunny fall day.
Nationally and regionally ranked teams such as Johns Hopkins, Dickinson, SUNY Geneseo, and Carnegie Mellon competed alongside Elizabethtown.
Racing under breezy and cool weather conditions, the women’s varsity team placed 12th in the field of 27 teams with an average time of 23:25.
Races are scored by assigning a point value for the finishing place of every runner. For instance, if a runner finishes first, they will earn one point.
The top five individual performers on each team compose their team’s final score, and the goal is to score the lowest number possible.
The Elizabethtown women finished with a total of 339 points. Fitzgibbon, junior Kaitlin Donahue, senior Erin Doherty, sophomore Brooklyne Wiley, and senior Courtney Gelb rounded out the team’s top five finishers.
Fitzgibbon stated that she didn’t have the performance she wanted, but she still has high hopes for the rest of the season.
“I thought that my race wasn’t my best, but even though I wasn’t where I wanted to be, it taught me that bad races are okay to happen,” Fitzgibbon said. “Coming out of this meet, we all learned a lot about how to improve as a team, and as we go into the next few weeks, we are going to work hard and be optimistic as we approach the end of the season.”
Hallie Weaver, sophomore psychology major who ran 24:30, agreed with what Fitzgibbon stated and noted that she was also dissatisfied with her performance. “I wasn’t very happy with how I did, but I feel that it wasn’t a true representation of how the season is going,” Weaver said.
Weaver articulated that she is going to use this race as a learning experience and focus on the rest of the season.
“After reflecting and looking forward, I have learned from my mistakes and want to keep a positive attitude going into Conferences,” Weaver noted. “I believe that I will run much better in the upcoming races.”
Courtney Gelb, senior occupational therapy major, was pleased with her race after she ran her personal best.
“I’m happy about my race because it was a personal record by 50 seconds,” Gelb stated. “I’m also happy because I had a positive mindset throughout the race and that helped me believe that I was capable of running a faster time.”
Even though the team did not have the overall performance they wanted, the team goal has not changed as they still want to qualify for the national championships.
The Elizabethtown women’s cross country team will compete in their regional meet on Nov. 16. This meet will determine if the team can achieve their ultimate goal of running at nationals.