The girls cross country varsity squad swept its opponents on Saturday, October 5, in a quad meet on the Island, defeating Northfield Mount Hermon 27-28, Hotchkiss 18-37, and Taft 17-38. And all varsity and JV Pelican competitors raced to their season-best times for five kilometers.
The Hoggers had handily defeated Loomis the previous week at the NMH Invitational, so the Pelicans knew they had to race well to have a chance to upend their opponents this weekend. As the race unfolded on the Pelicans’ home course, the team lead switched multiple times, and the outcome was uncertain until the final varsity scorers from each team crossed the finish line less than one second apart.
Loomis senior captain Neala Sweeney finished second overall, behind NMH’s top runner and a solid 20 yards ahead of the third-place finisher. Her time of 19:47 was a personal best and played an important role in the Pelicans’ victory over NMH.
The Loomis duo of senior captain Emma Tishler and freshman Maeve Dowd captured fourth and fifth place, and with three Pelicans and three Hoggers in the finish chute, the team score was 10-11 in favor of NMH.
In the end, it was sophomore Karishma Lawrence, who ran No. 4 for Loomis and finished ahead of the NMH No. 4 runner, and sophomore Julia Lantner, running No. 5 for Loomis and holding off a charging kick from the NMH No. 5 runner, that solidified the Pelican comeback and led them to victory. A mere six-tenths of a second separated Lantner from her NMH counterpart and clinched the win for the Pelicans.
Rounding out the varsity seven for Loomis were junior Mitali Vedula and freshman Anika Ahilan.
Up next for the Pelicans is a tri meet against Choate and Deerfield at home on Saturday, October 12, starting at 2:45 p.m.