Women's Cross Country Set for 2004 Season

Aug. 18, 2004

Providence, RI - The women's cross country team enters the 2004 season with a strong returning group and with an even stronger desire to prove that they do have the talent to come out on top. Coach Rick Wemple sees this fall as an opportunity for the ladies to achieve large goals, both individually and as a team. Captain Julie Komosinski confirms, "Rick and I are going into the season with high expectations. One of the things we've talked about is to always go for the best, always go for the win; our best should never be less than first."

Headlining the roster will be senior Meredith Crocker, who is looking to avenge last year's injury plagued season. "Her sophomore year, she proved she can be a national-caliber runner," says Wemple, "and with training uninterrupted by injuries, she will show it."

Last year's two top athletes will also return; juniors Anna Willard and Anya Davidson "played significant roles not just through the cross country season, but also on the track" where Willard was part of the Heps champion indoor 4x800 relay, and Davidson ranks seventh all time on the indoor 5,000 meter run. In addition, Willard received Most Valuable Player honors and Davidson was named Most Improved for their 2003 cross country campaigns.

The Brown women's depth will be key for the season; Wemple points to it as the "strength of the team," as the pack support will be necessary to support the front-runners. Komosinski says, "Pack running will definitely be our greatest asset; a lot of teams just come together to run, but there's a lot of friendships and bonding on our team that go beyond just coming to practice each day. In races, you want to push yourself not just for yourself but for everyone else as well. The positive energy that it creates is unmatched."

Senior Komosinski "will be not only the athletic, but also the spiritual leader of the pack as captain." Senior Emma Sarro will also return for her final year and be a strong member of the group. Juniors Annie Hatch and Jilane Rodgers along with sophomore Mikie Monaghan will also look to be part of the support pack. Monaghan, last year's Outstanding Freshman, lettered her first year and finished the year with a solid track season.

Incoming freshman Smita Gupta should also be recognized as a potential varsity runner, with a cross country personal best of 18:02 and New England Prep School Champion title, she will be in position to run with the upperclass pack. Other freshmen to look for will be Laura Straub, who was fourth at the New England High School Championships and Becky Crossin who finished tenth at the highly competitive New Jersey Championships.

The focus of this season will be on the last three meets, and Wemple will have the women train through the first couple of meets so as to not peak too early and to be able to begin running competitively at the Murray Keating Invitational on October 2. This will lead into the Heptagonal Championships and the NCAA meets. Looking to rebound from last year's disappointing eighth place finish, Wemple has set aggressive goals of a top showing at the Heptagonals and then a team berth to the National meet. In addition, he expects each woman to set at least one personal best during the season.

The women will start the 2004 campaign on September 11 at the Stonehill College Invitational in Easton, Massachusetts.