BABSON PARK, Mass.—Following the departure of four of its top six runners, including the top harrier in program history, the Babson College women's cross country team enters the start of a new era in 2015.
Three-time All-New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) honoree and two-time NCAA national championship qualifier Marina Capalbo '15 graduated in May, leaving the Beavers with just two upperclassmen heading into this year. Under the direction of 12th-year head coach Russ Brennen, the Green and White will rely on its youth to try and improve on three straight ninth-place finishes at the league meet.
Sophomore Melanie Plattner (Fort Lee, N.J.), who had three sub 21-minute times in the 5k and finished third on the team in average time last year, is the program's top returning runner. She set a personal best with a time of 19:56 at UMass-Dartmouth last September, good for the second-fastest time by any Babson competitor last fall.
Senior Katie Donovan (Darien, Conn.), who finished third on the team in average time as a sophomore in 2013, should give the Green and White a boost after missing last season while studying abroad. Junior Amy Warner (Rockland, Mass.) competed in seven races last fall, while sophomore Sarah Anthony (Netcong, N.J.), the only Beavers' runner to take part in all eight events in 2014, is looking to build on a solid debut campaign.
With just four returning runners, Babson will look for its five first-year harriers to make an immediate impact. "We have a great group," said Brennen. "We have a solid group of returning runners and some talented first-years. The depth we have added to the team should help us reach our goals this season.
Babson will open its season with a dual meet against Wheaton on Friday, September 4, before competing in three big events prior to November's conference and regional championships.