Murdy paces men's x-country to 7th place at UMD

Mark Murdy '21 (Photo by
Mark Murdy '21 (Photo by

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Brandeis University cross country teams returned to action after three weeks with their annual trip the UMass Dartmouth Invitational. The Brandeis men came in seventh place, improving by six spots from a year ago, while the women did not defend their title, coming in 13th in the team standings.

Leading the way for the Brandeis men, was junior Mark Murdy (Plantsville, Conn./Southington). Murdy, who finished 35th at this meet two years ago, improved by 27 places to come in eighth overall out of more then 250 competitors. He covered the five-mile race in 25:30.21.

Sophomore Matthew Driben (Reading, Pa./Wyomissing) also had a dramatic improvement in placement from his last trip to Dartmouth, placing 17th overall with a time of 25:53.22. He shaved half a minute off his time from his rookie season on this course when he was 45th.

Senior Dan Curley (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) broke 27 minutes for the first time at UMD, clocking 26:53.00 and finishing 51st overall. Classmate Alec Rodgers (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield Memorial) turned in a time of 27:09.38, good for 61st  place. Teammate Casey Brackett (Wakefield, Mass. / Wakefield Memorial) was Brandeis' first rookie finisher, coming 76th with a time of 27:40.08.

Senior Jacob Judd (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) was the team's sixth competitor, placing 112th with 28:28.34.

The Judges' 209 points were good for seventh place, fourth among Division III teams.

On the women's side, sophomore Erin Magill (South Duxbury, Vt. / Harwood Union) set a personal record by covering the five-kilometer course in 18:54.59 to finish in 13th place in the 263 person field. She shaved 40 seconds off her previous best time at UMD and 30 seconds off her previous collegiate best over 5K. Magill also improved by 23 places at the race. Running in second place for the Judges was rookie Bridget Pickard (Westwood, Mass./Westwood), who came in 68th in her second collegiate race with a time of 20:13.57.

Sophomore Hannah Walsh (Farifield, Maine/Lawrence) moved up from the JV race to the varsity and placed 98th in 20:47.33, improving by 25 seconds from 2018. Junior Leinni Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope) was 102nd with a time of 20:50.54,  while sophomore Natalie Hattan (Sugar Land, Texas / Fort Bend Clemente) was 121st in 21:01.34. Classmate Kate Danziger (Potomac, Md. / Winston Churchill) rounded out the Brandeis competitors in 153rd place with a time of 21:41.16.

The Brandeis women finished with 376 points to finish in 13th place, 10th among DIII schools.

The Judges return to action in two weeks at the Keene State Invitational.