XC running for championship

by Beacon Staff • October 19, 2005

Head Coach John Furey, who leads both teams in training with the help of Assistant Coach Jennifer Finn, said the athletes are unique because they like to train, which makes for a pretty dedicated crew.,"Whether sprinting up Beacon Hill, enduring interval workouts in the Common or taking longer runs around the Charles River, the cross country men's and women's teams practice hard in their surroundings.

Head Coach John Furey, who leads both teams in training with the help of Assistant Coach Jennifer Finn, said the athletes are unique because they like to train, which makes for a pretty dedicated crew.

This fall marks Furey's seventh season coaching Emerson cross country and his teams have proved their competitiveness in the past.

Since the beginning of the women's team seven years ago, Furey has led it to victory in three Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championships, the most recent title coming from last season's squad.

"The women are still a good, solid team," Furey said about the women's team that finished its last meet in seventh place out of 12 in the Regis College Invitational earlier this month.

As for the men, Furey said this season holds "by far the best team" in Emerson's three-year history of having men's cross country.

"The men's team is right in the thick of things," Furey said. "Hopefully [the team will] win the GNAC."

The men's team has finished in the top three in its last three meets.

The championship meet will be held at Western New England College (WNEC) on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Furey said he expects both the women's and men's teams to place at least in the top four at this event.

So far this season, the women have competed against 28 teams and beaten 15, Furey said. The men have successfully defeated 30 out of 40 teams.

"We're doing well," Furey said.

Junior Nate Larkin-Connolly, a Co-Captain of the men's squad, agreed with his coach, saying the team has grown much stronger during the course of the season.

"We've all been training really hard," he said. "We should all peak during [the GNAC championships]."

At this point, however, both teams have their eyes on the prize-especially junior Lindsey Chabot, the women's team captain.

"She's probably going to be one of the top seven or eight [competitors] in GNAC," Furey said.

On the men's side, Furey said the team has the best runner in the conference-men's team Co-Captain John Weselcouch. The junior not only aims to lead a team championship, but also for a personal victory.

"I am planning on finishing first in the race," Weselcouch said about the GNAC Championships. "I've worked hard."

Weselcouch said that he and Larkin-Connolly have run for the men's squad since they helped found it three years ago.

As freshmen runners without a team to join, they contacted Furey, then the women's cross country coach, and "got the ball rolling" to start a men's side.

Weselcouch said the inaugural season had only five competitors but three years later, the participation level has risen to 12.

"This year is definitely the best," Weselcouch said. "[We] will stack up at championships."

Larkin-Connolly also said there are fresh faces that are committed athletes.

"A lot of new recruits [are] running hard and fast," Larkin-Connolly said.

As for the level of competition at the final meet, Furey said there are three or four schools that are evenly matched on the men's side and all are in a position to win the GNAC title.

According to Larkin-Connolly, it will be an extremely tight race among Emerson, WNEC and Johnson & Wales University.

While the contest is expected to be intense, Weselcouch said he is confident in both teams.

"The GNAC Championships will be good for Emerson cross country," he said. "We still have yet to reach our full potential."

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