Island Colleges womens cross country team will most
likely experience the highs and lows of a typical rebuilding
year this season according to Head Coach Matt Hird.
With only two out of last years top seven returning,
the squad will need to work extremely hard to quickly form a
cohesive team, something that Hird says is already well underway.
We had to retune our objectives as a team this year,
things might be a little more difficult than we had anticipated.
I still expect us to be respectable within the Little
East Conference, however, says Hird.
is the case with any cross country program, the improvement of
individual runners is directly correlated to the teams
improvement, and Hirds runners are already improving rapidly.
Hird described the teams second meet of the season,
the UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational on Sept. 8, as like night
and day in comparison to its first competition at the CCRI
Invitational on Sept. 8. Every runner improved dramatically and Hird
believes that the team is really becoming a tight pack, something
that is ideal in the sport, expecting to have several runners
finishing within a minute of one another.
Michelle Boudreau (Lincoln, RI) and sophomore Rebecca
Horton (Seekonk, MA) are the two returning varsity runners
from last season. Boudreau has been the top Anchorwoman in the
first two meets, placing 11th
(out of 33 runners) with a time of 22:58 at the CCRI Invitational
and 116th with a time of 20:55 (out of 226 runners) at the UMASS-Dartmouth
captain Michele Dunphy (Cranston, RI) has run second for
RIC so far this year, followed by Horton.
Rounding out the top five are juniors Leslie Eastwood
(East Providence, RI) and Dapheney Jean-Baptiste (Stamford,
CT). Both track
runners, Eastwood is an 800-Meter specialist for RIC and Baptiste
is a talented sprinter who is making her cross country debut.
describes his runners as blue collar athletes, good athletic
citizens who approach everything correctly and take care of their
enjoy working with them; our goals are modest, but I have a good
sense that we will achieve them and maybe even surprise ourselves
along the way, says Hird.