Sept. 29, 2007
Williamsburg, Va. — The Vanderbilt women’s team (split squad) finished fifth overall at the Colonial Inter-Regional Challenge, a 6k event, hosted by William & Mary, but the team’s performance was trivial to head coach Steve Keith at the end of the race. Julie Eckerly, who had been the third runner for the team to this point in the season, sustained an injury about three-fourths of a mile into the race that forced her out of competition.
“Julie stepped in a hole, twisted her knee, and had to drop out of the race,” said Keith. “The team is not deep enough right now to absorb the loss of a top four runner. Julie has been a solid team captain and leader.”
“I think Rita and Carmen didn’t necessarily run their best races today against a very high level of competition. Today was definitely a wake-up call. This is why we ran a very difficult midseason race.”
Adrienne DiRaddo also had a solid performance for Vanderbilt and completed the course in 20th place only four-tenths of a second behind Mims with a time of 22:17.5.
“Adrienne had a very solid race finishing 20th overall,” remarked Keith, adding, “Ellen Black (40th overall in 23:29.3), Val Kazmer (41st overall in 23:30.8), Kate Southcote-Want (44th overall in 23:36.1), and Kate Martin (46th overall in 23:42.6) all had very strong races and ran very well.”
Virginia Tech took the team title at the Colonial Inter-Regional Challenge with a total of 23 points. Georgetown, William & Mary, and Richmond rounded out the top four.
“We needed a tough course this time of year to prepare for meets at the end of October,” said Keith. “Every meet gets more difficult, and we must move forward as a team.”
The women’s team will split squads again when they return to action on October 13. One squad will run in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Arkansas-Chile Pepper, while another squad will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to participate in a race hosted by UT-Chattanooga.