CHICOPEE, Mass. - The Lesley University cross country teams trudged through the rough terrain of the Blazer Invitational, but both squads survived the rough conditions to give high quality performances.
Saturday's race was a prime opportunity for Lesley to display their talent against some New England Collegiate Conference opponents.
In the women's 5K race, sophomore Charlotte Goff (Osterville, Mass.) was bested just one runner from the University of New England, as she finished in second place overall with a time of 19:59.8. Goff finished ahead of a fellow NECC racer from Elms by almost a full minute.
Goff was just one of several Lady Lynx runners to impress on Saturday. Heather Peng (Palo Alto, Calif.) crossed the finish line in sixth overall at 21:09.3. Jasmine Cuevas (Bristol, N.H.), Elize McKelvey (Baltimore, Ohio), and Ella Stiler-Cote (Kennebunkport, Me.) finished 10th through 12th to complete the team scoring for the Lynx.
Although University of New England (34) came through with the team victory, Lesley (36) easily took second place followed by St. Joseph College (CT) (114), Newbury College (153), and Pine Manor College (179).
Head Coach Dan Flynn commented on the performance by his women's team, "This race was a tough loss. The women ran through puddles and pain. After a difficult week of practice, they overcame it to come very close to beating a talented University of New England team. I think this race will stick in their memories and motivate them to run better in the future."
On the men's side it was a much anticipated battle between Fran Cusick (Lexington, Mass.) from Lesley and Herrel Siller Jr. from Newbury College. Herrel would get the better of Cusick as he broke away after 2.5 miles, but Cusick would continue to race hard. With just a mile remaining, Cusick passed a University of New England runner to take control of second place overall, finishing with a time of 28:04.2.
Brian Axelrod (River Vale, N.J.) again showed how he has much improved since 2007 as the sophomore earned sixth overall, clocking in at 30:26.8. Freshman Sam Hunt (Washington Depot, Conn.) finished ahead of all other rookies from the NECC at 33:16.3 in 15th place.
"The men's race was a gutsy performance all around. Fran put himself in the position to win the race and the others continued to pass other runners throughout the race. Sam Hunt had an amazing finish as he sprinted by Collin Crowther of University of New England."
Lesley will race on October 4th at the Pop Crowell Invitational hosted by Gordon College.
To learn more about the Lesley University men's and women's cross country teams, please visit their website.
Sports Information Director