NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Brandeis University cross country teams competed in their final invitational meet of the season today, the Connecticut College Invitational. The women placed 10th out of 29 teams in their first race of the season at six kilometers, while the men were 22nd of 28 squads in an eight-kilometer race.
The women were paced by a trio of runners who ran a 6:05 pace. Senior Danielle Bertaux (Prides Crossing, Mass./Beverly) led the team for the second meet in a row, running a time of 22:41.4 to place 48th overall. It was nearly a two-minute improvement over her previous race at this meet as a freshman. Junior Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) made her season debut and finished in 50th place with a time of 22:42.0, just six-tenths of a second behind Bertaux. Junior Andrea Bolduc (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) rounded out the front pack with a time of 22:43.3, more than a minute faster than her time at Conn. College last year. She finished in 53rd place, a 38-place improvement.
Sophomore Erin Magill (South Duxbury, Vt. / Harwood Union) was the teams fourth runner with a time of 23:01.9, a personal-best for 6K, good for 67th place. Classmate Hannah Walsh (Fairfield, Maine / Lawrence) finished among the team's top five for the third meet in a row, placing 142nd with a time of 23:51.2. Walsh improved by one minute and 50 seconds and 61 places over last year.
Junior Leinni Valdez (Providence, R.I./Hope) ran 6K for the second time in her career and placed 167th with a time of 24:12.4, while sophomore Natalie Hattan (Sugar Land, Texas / Fort Bend Clemente) was the seventh runner with a time of 24:37.4, in 194th place, just ahead of rookie Bridget Pickard (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) for the final scoring spot. Pickard was 197th with a time of 24:38.0.
Overall the Judges finished with 333 points to place 10th overall, edging Amherst by four points and placing 13 points behind Wesleyan and 51 behind UAA rivals Rochester.
On the men's side, the Judges finished with 629 points to finish 22nd. Junior Mark Murdy (Plantsvile, Conn./Southington) was the team's top finisher for the third time this season, placing 78th overall with a time of 25:56.2, 17 seconds faster than his rookie performance at this meet. Classmate Josh Lombardo (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook) made his season debut as the team's second runner, finishing with a time of 26:33.3, good for 147th place.
Senior Dan Curley (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) shaved more than 30 seconds off his best time at the Conn. College course to post a time of 26:46.0, placing 174th. Sophomore Matthew Driben (Reading, Pa./Wyomissing) was fourth on the team with a time of 27:15.8 that placed him 213th. Senior Brian Gao (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) rounded out the top five with a time of 28:17.2. It was his highest career finish on the team, having placed sixth at Conn. College as a sophomore. Sophomore Jacob Grant (Rockville Center, N.Y./South Side) and senior Jacob Judd (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) finished within a second of each other to round out the top seven with times of 28:57.2 and 28:58.0
The Judges kick off championship season on November 2 with the University Athletic Association Championships in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon.