Girls' Cross Country - Varsity
Founders League Tournament
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Hotchkiss School
The Taft harriers traveled to Hotchkiss to take on the teams of the Founders League on Saturday, November 4th. For the first time this season, the girls were split into formal JV and Varsity races, with the JV taking 4th place overall and the Varsity taking 5th place overall. Senior Lexi Cafiero earned All-Founders honors by finishing within the top 15 spots of the Varsity race; she placed 13th overall with a time of 21:55. The JV contingent took the line first, eager to improve upon their great racing against Kent last week, and they raced hard! Eleanor Streit was Taft’s highest finisher, earning 8th overall in 23:58, while Mare Gandarela was not far behind in 24:08 for 10th. Maggie Robertshaw continued to amaze herself and her coaches with a new PR of 24:39 for 18th overall. Logan Clew-Bachrach (24:47, 23rd) and Yuka Ishimoto (25:36, 32nd) were Taft’s fourth and fifth scorers, while Sinead Connolly and Court Wandelt served as displacement runners and nearly tied at the line, both finishing with a time of 25:37. (Sinead was awarded the tie-breaker by a lean.) Running in support of these official seven JV finishers were Kate Sharpe (50th, 26:15), Bonnie Song (72nd, 28:25), Nicole Sze (77th, 28:33), Cece Hail (78th, 28:38), and Julia Kim (89th, 30:48). What was most impressive about this JV crew was that they improved in their standings throughout the race, undaunted by the steep hill playfully nicknamed “Cardiac Hill” by the Founders League. The team’s 4th place finish was a nail-biter -- they outran 5th place finisher Choate by just 3 points! Kudos to all seven girls for fighting through this race; they saw in action the cross country motto that every runner counts. Shortly after the JV girls finished, the Varsity seven toed the line to face off against their conference rivals. As mentioned above, Lexi Cafiero led the team in 21:55 for 13th. The trio of Michelle Lian (22:36, 21st), Claudia Vira (22:42, 23rd), and Hanna Murphy (22:52, 25th) traded places throughout the race and worked together to pull each other across the finish line (metaphorically, of course), and Katie Bootsma (23:23, 32nd) finished out the scoring for the Varsity. Haley Barr (43rd, 24:06) and Kate Zhang (45th, 24:49) served as displacement scorers and helped add key points towards the scores of both Miss Porter’s and Kingswood Oxford, teams which finished in 6th and 7th overall just behind us. We look forward to competing one last time at the New England Championships next Saturday, November 11th at Choate!