Women's Cross Country to Compete at Paul Short Invitational
Sept. 26, 2012
Under the direction of head coach Kevin Quinn, the women's cross country team returns a core group of veterans as well as a plethora of new faces for the second half of the 2012 season that all have one goal in mind: a solid finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships.
Coming off of a successful season in 2011 in which the women's cross country team placed in the top half of five meets, the Hawks will look to continue their strive toward success in 2012. Leading the way for the Hawks will be this season's captains, seniors Maureen O'Donnell and Sara Walker.
O'Donnell, a four-year distance runner out of Haddonfield, N.J., has had a standout career for the Hawks and is described by Quinn as "the most accomplished runner on the team." In her first two races last season, O'Donnell led all Hawks with a second place finish at the Charlotte Duels and a 107th place finish at the Paul Short Invitational. The senior captain completed the latter half of the season just as strong, placing second on the team at both the Princeton Invitational and Atlantic 10 Championships, where she finished seventh and 16th overall, respectively.
Walker, also a four-year member of the squad, hails from Wilmington, Del. The senior captain ran in three meets in the 2011 season and posted a season best time in her final race, the ECAC 5K, finishing in the top five for the Hawks with a time of 19:40. In her first two meets of the season, Walker finished in the top half of both, proving to be a strong force in the 5K.
Of his senior co-captain, Quinn states, "Sara has a strong personality in that she leads by example through her work ethic."
Fellow senior Lena Finucane will round out the experience of the senior class. Finucane finished in the top five for Saint Joseph's four times last season as she competed in all meets with the exception of the Paul Short Invitational. The three-year competitor shattered her personal best time in the 5K by 31.3 seconds at the Atlantic 10 Championships, posting a time of 18:28.7 to hand her a 51st place finish.
A core group of seven juniors return this season as well, led by 2011 All-Conference selection Hannah Fuller. Fuller placed in the top five for the Hawks six times last season, including three consecutive first-place finishes on the squad at the Princeton Invitational (6th overall), Atlantic 10 Championships (15th overall), and NCAA Regionals (22:51.6). The junior standout demolished her personal best time in the 5K by 27 seconds, clocking in at 17:55.5 at the A10s.
Junior classmates Elizabeth Barrett, Erin James, and Emma Slattery comprised a dynamic trio of Hawks that finished in the top five for Saint Joseph's three times each. Barrett ran in five races last season, finishing exceptionally strong in the first two meets with 6th and 7th place finishes, respectively. James ran in six of eight races last year, taking 1:17 off her personal best time in the 6K by clocking in at 23:47 at the Paul Short Invitational. James finished second on the team and 33rd overall at the ECACs with a time of 18:19. Slattery ran three races last season and finished 21st overall and first on the squad at the IC4A Championships, a 5K that featured 94 runners. She finished second on the team at the NCAA Regionals, finishing 61st overall in the 6K out of 199 runners with a time of 22:33.5, and third on the team at the Atlantic 10 Championships, finishing 20th overall in 18:13.8.
Returning to the team to round out the veterans for Saint Joseph's are classmate Emily Chappell and this season's sole sophomore Taylor Oskowiak, who each finished in the top five two times for the Hawks, and juniors Darcy O'Connor and Paige O'Neill.
Junior Hannah Brown, a middle distance runner from the track and field team, will add cross country to her repertoire this season and will be joined by an additional upperclassman in senior Erin Giampietro.
The women's cross country team welcomes seven freshmen in All-Northeast selection Emily Chaundy, LVC Conference All-Star Kathryn Cols, All-League selection Tess Doggett, indoor Nationals participant Lauren Hehir, All-Group II First Team pick Georgiana Honrath, four-year letter winner Erin O'Leary, and District II medalist Sara Radzwilka.
With a solid group of veteran experience meshed with the spark of nine competitors in the newcomers, the possibilities are endless and the opportunities exponential for the 2012 women's cross country season.