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Freshman leads in X.C. meet

By Kyle Towne
On October 28, 2009

10/28/09 - The University of Rhode Island women's cross country team place fourth in the Central Connecticut State University Mini Meet this past Saturday at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn.The Rams finished behind Quinnipiac University, Brown University and the University of Connecticut. The meet was called a mini meet because it was only three kilometers in length. The rest of the Rams' meets consist of either five or eight kilometers tracks.

"The race went fine," Head Coach Laurie Feit-Melnick said. "We got out of it what we wanted to."

Freshman Niamh Ryan once again was the first Ram to cross the finish line, finishing sixth overall. She finished the short race in 10:26.69, just one second behind the fourth and fifth runners in the meet.

"She's closing out races really well," Feit-Melnick said. "She caught a couple runners right at the end, and nearly caught two more."

Ryan has had a successful rookie season for the Rams. She has been the top finisher for the Rams for three consecutive meets.

"She has had a very successful first year," Feit-Melnick said. "We are very pleased with her progress."

Junior Brittany Pelsue was the next to cross the finish line for the Rams, finishing 16th overall with a time of 10:48.67. Pelsue eclipsed the two runners that finished behind her by less than one second.

Junior Caitrin Demchko finished the race in 10:59.67. She finished in 26th place, just .07 seconds behind the runner who placed before her.

The two runners to round out the scoring for URI were senior Erica Planamento and sophomore Alyssa Namey. Planamento finished 50th with a time of 11:33.45, and Namey finished 59th with a time of 11:41.27.

"We got to rest some runners this race," Feit-Melnick said. "We saw some new faces out there."

This was the final meet to prepare the Rams for the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, and the most important meet of the year for the Rams.

"We are looking to have a good, solid team-race," Feit -Melnick said. "Last year we did a good job of running in a pack. This year I want to just move the pack up."

Feit-Melnick has expressed the importance of her team running as a pack all season, and the Rams hope to display her teachings this weekend. The meet takes place at Forest Park in St. Louis, on Saturday.

"If we keep the top five tight and everyone works together, we will be pleased with the result," Feit-Melnick said.

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