NESCAC Preview: Women's Cross Country Gears Up for Conference Meet

NESCAC Preview: Women's Cross Country Gears Up for Conference Meet


AMHERST, Mass. – Ranked No. 9 in the New England Region in the latest USTFCCCA Poll, the Amherst College women's cross country team is set to travel to Boston, Mass. on Saturday, Oct. 27 to compete in the 2018 NESCAC Championships hosted by Tufts University. Competitors in the 35th installment of the annual conference meet will run the trails of Franklin Park, with the women's six-kilometer race scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Securing fifth overall and placing three runners inside the top-25 at the Championship a season ago, the Amherst women's cross country team once again looks poised to be a contender to the title. In 2017, Williams won its third straight women's crown and 16th overall NESCAC Championship, edging runner-up Middlebury by 15 points, while Tufts (82 points), Bates (90 points) and Amherst (133 points) rounded out the top-five teams. The Mammoths will enter the weekend looking to recapture the NESCAC crown for the first time since earning back-to-back conference titles in 2006 and 2007.


  • Kicking off 2018 at the Little III Championships, the Mammoths placed third overall in the 4K race with a scoring order of 6-9-10-12-17(19)(20).
  • In the 13-team Purple Valley Classic two weeks later on Sept. 22, Amherst secured eighth overall with two runners finishing inside the top-15.
  • The Mammoths closed out September at the mutli-division Paul Short Invitational, claiming 21st in the 43-squad, 362-harrier 'Brown' race.
  • Amherst's final tune up before the league meet took place on Oct. 13, with the Mammoths clocking a team average 6K time of 23:03 to finish seventh at the Connecticut College Invitational.


  • Amherst returns four of their five scoring runners from last season's Championship, including Kristin Ratliff '20 (23:12.1 / 22nd), Veronica Rocco '19 (23:20.1 / 25th), Haley Greene '21 (23:42.5 / 43rd) and Lela Walter '19 (23:46.7 / 46th).
  • Pacing the Mammoths at the Purple Valley Classic and Conn. College Invite, Ratliff enters the weekend looking to break the top-20 after posting her best 6K mark of the season two weekends ago (22.34.4).
  • Putting together a breakout sophomore season, Olivia Polischeck '21 will aim to improve upon a 54th place finish in 2017. First across the finish line for Amherst twice this fall, Polischeck's top mark came at the Paul Short Invite where she clocked a collegiate-best time of 22:37.
  • Walter is positioned to make a dent on the scoresheet once again this season, with the senior landing inside the Mammoths' top-three at all four races in 2018. The Bethesda, Md. native's best finish came at the Paul Short Invite, with Walter notching a 22:53 mark to earn 52nd overall.
  • Teams should also be on the lookout for sophomore Sarah Gayer and first-year Eline Laurent, with the duo primed to make an impact after each posting their best marks of the year two weeks ago. Gayer clocked a 23:25.6 mark to take 69th overall at the Conn. College Invite, while Laurent registered a time of 23:23.3 to earn 65th.

Boston, Mass. – Franklin Park – Hosted by Tufts University
Women's 6K Race: 10 a.m. Start Time
Men's 8K Race: 11 a.m. Start Time