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2019 WOmen's CROSS COUNTRY preview

The lineup may change on a yearly basis, but the history and the tradition remains the same for the Middlebury women’s cross country team heading into the fall of 2019. After capturing its 14th NESCAC Championship last season and losing five runners either to graduation or studying abroad this fall, the lineup will feature some new faces this season.

Head Coach Nicole Wilkerson

Under the leadership of Nicole Wilkerson who enters her ninth season, the Panthers return a youthful crop of athletes. Gone from last year are three runners who graduated and two more who are studying abroad this fall which were among the top seven that finished as the runner up at the NCAA Regional and eighth at the NCAA Championship meet.

Cassie Kearney

Despite those losses, Wilkerson is optimistic about the upcoming season about the core returning to the courses. Glancing over the roster, the youthfulness is apparent, as the women are ranked 17th in the Division III women’s national preseason poll.

Julia Jaschke

Leading this year’s team will be sophomore Cassie Kearney, along with seniors Meg Wilson, Julia Jaschke and Talia Ruxin. Kearney garnered All-American status during her first year as a Panther, finishing 37th at the NCAA Championship. She garnered top-15 efforts in five of her six races last fall, highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the NESCAC Championship and an eighth-place run at the NCAA Regional. Wilson returns to the team after studying abroad last year. She was a consistent scorer during her sophomore season, including a third-place effort at the Aldrich Invitational and a 26th-place finish at the NCAA Regional.

Anna Willig

A captain this fall, Jaschke ran in four races last fall, finishing seventh in the season-opening Vermont Tech Invitational, while Ruxin crossed the line first in that same race before an injury claimed the rest of her season.

Phoebe Colvin Oehmig

Senior captain Anna Willig and junior Phoebe Colvin Oehmig have each been contributors throughout their careers. Willig competed in four races last fall and was ninth at the Vermont Tech Invitational, while Colvin Oehmig posted a pair of top-five finishes in the first two races of the season, before taking part at the NESCAC Championships.

Olivia Mitchell

Senior Olivia Mitchell, junior Chloe Smith and sophomores Grace Kirkpatrick and Katelyn Pease all return to the roster and will battle for spots in the lineup this fall along with some first-year runners.

The Panthers begin their quest for national title number seven when they travel to eastern Vermont to take part in the Vermont Tech Invitational on September 7. Two weeks later, the teams host their lone home meet on September 21 with the annual Aldrich Invitational. The 2019 NESCAC Championship will be contested on November 2 at Williams, while the NCAA Championship meet will be held on November 23 in Louisville.