Yeowomen Make History at NCACs

Hudson Kuras

It was business as usual for the women’s cross country team, leveling its North Coast Athletic Conference opponents in the championship meet this past Saturday. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Yeowomen have won the All-Conference title and this may have been their best performance yet.

The Yeowomen claimed four out of the top five spots in the 6K run. Junior Molly Martorella, who was injured for most of the season, finished first with a time of 22 minutes, 31.3 seconds. Nineteen seconds later, sophomore Carey Lyons crossed the line for second place. Sophomore Lindsay Neal placed third with a time of 23:01.6 and classmate Emma Lehmann secured the fifth spot at 23:18.5.

Sophomore Sarah Jane Kerwin and senior Caroline Martin secured the 14th and 15th spots, respectively, with sophomore Erica Morelli rounding out the Yeowomen top seven in 17th place.

The Yeowomen had a winning score of 25 points, the lowest score in NCAC history. They beat out Kenyon College, who placed second with 67 points, and Depauw University, who placed third with 102.

The win itself wasn’t the only accolade from the team’s dominating performance. Along with Martorella garnering the title of NCAC Runner of the Year, the Yeowomen had eight other All-Conference performers, another conference record. Their performance at the Conference Championships demonstrates that this is a team of depth, consistency and achievement.

Head Coach Ray Appenheimer attributed part of the Yeowomen’s long-standing success to the team culture, noting, “It’s partly the significant preparation, but moreso the great dynamic that the team has had over the years. These are women who love, support and fight for each other throughout the race. They’re running for their teammates.”

Martorella +echoed this sentiment, saying, “We all provide a strong support system for one another, and I think having such a tight-knit group has allowed us to compete so well.”

Whatever the team is doing, it appears to be working. With such a young team that had seven non-seniors in the top 20 at NCACs, its success seems likely to continue in future seasons.

The Yeowomen now are ranked ninth in the nation and are eager to continue their success at the Nov. 10 NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet. They will undoubtedly be pushing each other to improve their times during their hiatus.

As Martorella noted, “The team has put in lots of hard work, and it’s going to pay off at Regionals.”