Women’s cross-country sprint up in rankings

Team climbs into 7th in recent Metro region rankings after a strong showing at Haverford's Main Line Invitational

The Women's Cross Country Team huddling up before the big race. Photo courtesy of the Muhlenberg Office of Communications

After a great showing at the Haverford College’s Main Line Invitational, the Mules have jumped up to seventh place in the recent Metro region rankings. The only Division III teams to finish ahead of ‘Berg at the Invitational were Haverford College and Elizabethtown College. 

This is looking to be a special season for the Mules who, like all schools, are coming back after almost a year and a half off because of the pandemic. Abigail Dalton ‘22, who ran an 18-minute in the women’s three-mile race and placed 26th overall at the recent invitational, has relished being back in action while also being sentimental about her final season. 

“It’s exciting to be able to get back to cross-country after so long. And, now that we are all at Muhlenberg, it’s easier to be closer to the team,” Dalton said. “It’s also a little bittersweet knowing my third season will be my last.” 

Teammate Adrienne Ellison ‘23, who placed 62nd overall with a time of 21:15.3 minutes in the three-mile race, had used the time away from school to get ready for this season. “During the pandemic, I was able to find my love for running again and that is showing in my performance,” she said. “It is definitely nerve-racking getting on the line for the first time since freshman year but once the gun goes off, I just have to trust my training.” 

For newcomer Lauren House ‘25, who ran a 21:29-minute three-mile time and placed 63rd overall at the meet, being a member of this team has been a very special experience while also getting adjusted to college life. “For me, the best part of college athletics has been getting to be a part of such a great team and have super supportive teammates. We are all always there to help one another through difficult workouts and push each other to do our best during races,” House said. “While it’s been a little difficult to adjust to the practices and amount of work, it has also been super fun to have a team that is always pushing me to do my best and to keep improving.” 

This team has really shown out this year, performing to their potential and skill with good placements overall as a team and really putting the team first. “I think everyone ran with guts,” said Dalton. 

“Nobody was feeling their best that day, so I’m really proud of how they pushed themselves in order to achieve such an impressive result,” she said. 

The team ran their hearts out and the results showed just how strong their potential is this year.  “I think that we’ve all done a really good job at being super consistent at practice and showing up everyday and being ready to work hard,” said House. “We also have great captains this season who have really helped to motivate us all going into each race and always support us to do our best.” 

Ellison has seen the attitude of the team and how they hold accountability for each other. “I would say we all have a very positive attitude about this season and being a small group of girls has made us closer and really push each other in races,” she said. “We have just been focusing on one meet at a time and it seems to be working out well for us.” 

Obviously, it’s very tough to keep this up for any team, but the Mules are ready for the challenge. “We just need to keep focusing on pushing ourselves, encouraging each other, and having fun at the same time,” said Dalton. “I think it’s also important to take care of our health and make sure we are getting enough rest to keep our immune systems strong.” 

Ellison and House echo this sentiment. “I think we need to continue to stay focused on one workout at a time and one race at a time and the results will show,” said Ellison. “I am confident we are going to continue moving up in the rankings throughout the season.”  

“I think as long as we all stay consistent in our training and working together the way we have been so far, we will definitely be able to continue performing as well as we are. I’m super excited to see how we do in future races,” said House. 

The Mules look to keep this hot start going at the Paul Short Run on Oct. 1, hosted by Lehigh University.

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