NEW LONDON, Conn.-The Coast Guard women's cross country team, under the direction of second-year head coach Ethan Brown seek to make an impact in both the conference and the region. After finishing fifth a season ago at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Championship, the Bears believe that they are on the upswing.
Coast Guard returns four of their top seven scorers from the 2012 season. The team has a mix of solid returning athletes and strong incoming freshmen that will look to improve on last year's 5th Place NEWMAC and 17th Place NCAA Regional finishes. Top returners are Junior Beth Gollin (11:01, NCAA National Qualifier in the Steeplechase, 18:38 5k) and Senior Captain Meghan Kalinowski (19:36, Indoor Track 5K).
Chelsea Sheehy will share leadership duties with Kalinowski as the team's captains. Other returners looking for a spot in scoring position include juniors Kendall Auth and Cameo Ulbricht, as well as sophomores, Jess Mulroy and Melissa Keeley.
Some freshmen that could make an immediate impact in the Bear's top 7 include Gretchen Krause, Bonny Turnage, Jennifer Haley, and Chloe Benoist. Other newcomers in what is a very strong freshmen class are Clara Dahill-Baue and Kyndall Percival.
The returning group should blend nicely with the incoming class. "There are several strong runners in the freshman class that will compete for a scoring position on our team and could be contenders during post-season," says Coach Brown.
Returning to assist Coach Brown will be Greg Ahnrud and Mariette Ogg for their second seasons. The Bears will also welcome faculty representative Christopher Armstrong to the staff for his first season.
All in all, the outlook for the 2013 season is very encouraging, according to Coach Brown, "this year could really be a wildcard year for our women's team. Four of our top seven runners from the 2012 season are returning and all have the potential to move up in the conference."
The blend of newcomers and returners has Coach Brown anxious to get the season underway, saying "I'm excited to watch everyone's development through the season."
The Bears will open the season on Saturday, September 7 when they travel to Northampton, Mass. for the Smith College Invitational. The women's meet is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am.