by Eileen Flynn ’20
The Providence College Women’s Cross Country Team has definitely proved their worthiness through their preseason eighth place ranking in the NCAA National Coaches’ Poll. The Friars are expected to have yet another successful season and the veterans that returned this year have already pushed the team in the right direction.
At the University of New Hampshire Annual Dual Meet the Friars reminded the league of their talents. In their opening match, PC runners Brianna Ilarda ’18, Catarina Rocha ’17RS, Mackenzie Barry ’18, and Maria Coffin ’21, crossed the finish line first, second, third and fourth consecutively. Alexandra DeCicco ’20, and Dara Cuffe ’19, followed up in seventh and 19th place.
An overwhelming amount of Friars in the top ten guaranteed the team’s first victory of the year over competitors from the College of the Holy Cross and the University of New Hampshire.
On Sept. 9, at the Nassaney Invitational in Smithfield, Rhode Island the Friars faced off against Brown University. The first three spots were filled by Millie Paladino ’18, Abbey Wheeler ’20, and Mackenzie Barry ’18. Paladino turned it on at the end and pulled away from the pack. She ran past the finish line at an impressive time of 16:58. Coach Treacy decided to rest five of his top eight runners, so the Friars were unable to grab the team win over Brown.
Regional rankings have listed PC at number one, and national rankings have placed the team eighth overall. Teams ahead of PC include the University of Colorado-Boulder, at number one.
In the team’s latest match at the Boston College Battle in Beantown Invitational on Friday, September 22, the women achieved the team title in the women’s 5,000 meters
The consistency in Rocha, Ilarda, Wheeler, and Paladino is what sets this team apart and is what enables them to keep winning their meets. Rocha, Ilarda, and Wheeler placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the 17th minute.
The women won the team title with 71 points over Indiana University and Georgetown University which tied in second with the same score of 78. This is the third season in a row that the women have claimed the team title and the fourth time in five years.