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Gorman wins NESCAC women's cross country title

BOSTON, Mass. -- Colby College sophomore Sophia Gorman (Charlotte, Vt;.) beat the cold, the rain, the wind, and the entire field of runners to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Cross Country Championship meet on Saturday at Franklin Park.
 
Despite a number of great runners over the years, Gorman is just the third Mule to win a NESCAC women's title. Kara Patterson won the individual title in 1996, while Michelle Severance won titles in 1990 and 1991.
 
Gorman (pictured) was able to handle 35 degree temperatures, a steady rain, and wind in her face during different parts of the course.
 
"It was kind of fun and you got to the point where you couldn't take it too seriously," said Gorman, with a laugh. "There was one point where I stepped in a puddle that went more than an inch above my ankle. There were times in the open field where it was hard to run straight in the wind."
 
Colby head coach Jared Beers was not surprised that Gorman handled the elements.
 
"She is a Vermonter," Beers said. "She is used to this type of weather."
 
Gorman finished in a time of 21 minutes, 54.8 seconds over the 6-kilometer course. She will earn All-NESCAC First Team honors when the league officially announces awards next week. 
 
Colby teammate Helen Chavey (West Hartford, Conn.) also ran well in taking 13th place in 23:07.3. She will earn All-NESCAC Second Team honors next week. Sonia Tremblay (Billerica, Mass.) made it three runners in the top 25 by taking 23rd place in 23:23.6.
 
Gorman nearly led from start to finish in the race, beating runner-up Natalie Bettez of Tufts University and third place Rory Kelly of Middlebury. Bettez and Kelly are both seniors and both runners beat Gorman two weeks ago at the Connecticut College Invitational.
 
"I like to go out hard and I like racing under pressure," Gorman said. "I wanted to get out ahead early, but I didn't expect anyone not to come and get me."
 
The rest of the race had the three runners separated from the pack, but there were large gaps between the three.
 
"There was a field of about 300 meters from the start of the course and then after that was a sharp right turn," Beers said. "Sophia was leading at that turn and basically led the entire race."
 
Beers and Gorman sat down to discuss her racing future a few weeks ago. The goal was to win the league title in her junior or senior year.
 
"Winning today seemed like a better option," Gorman said. 
 
Colby finished sixth overall with a score of 154 and beat both Bowdoin and Amherst. Hannah Springhorn (Guilford, Conn.) placed 55th for the Mules in 24:22.1.