Swimmer Justin Finkel ’25 earns All-America honors with second-place NCAA finish
While the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed competition for members of Connecticut College’s men’s and women’s cross country teams, it hasn’t been able to stop these dedicated student athletes from running. Recently, the teams challenged themselves and the teams’ alumni to a virtual 5K event.
The 2020 practice squads ran their 5K on the track on Friday, Oct. 16, while alumni ran anytime and anywhere they wanted over the course of the weekend of Oct. 16-18. Many of the alumni used the GPS feature on their watches to help them map out a 5K route.
Ben Bosworth ’17 was the top finisher among the men’s team alumni and overall, finishing in a time of 14:44 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while Anna Laurence ’16 led the women’s alumni with a time of 18:58, also in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Meredith Cronin ’21 ran the fastest time among all of the past and present women, hitting the tape in 18:48, and Matt Carter ’23 paced the current men’s squad with a mark of 14:53.19. Bella Franz ’17 notably registered a time of 19:34 while racing at an altitude of 9,000 feet in Colorado.
The women created a friendly competition by having consecutive class years grouped together so that each team had at least five and no more than seven members. Normal cross country meet scoring was used.
Team I, which consisted of current sophomores in the Class of 2023, was the overall winner with 70 points. Their team included Julia Curran, Michelle Gutowski, Mary Rusnock, Sarah Padilla and Sarah Anderson. Team E–Classes 2014 through 2016–was the top group of alumni with 97 points. The team included Anna Laurence ’16, Emily Winter ’16, Grace Glynn ’14, Kim Bolick ’15, Caroline Leonard ’16, Anna Curtis-Heald ’15 and Maddy Conley ’14.
Laurence has been training for a virtual 5K with her running club in Boston, and it happened to be the same weekend as Conn's alumni virtual race, so she combined the two efforts. Although she has mostly been running on her own over the past few months, she had one running buddy come to support her run at the Harvard outdoor track in Cambridge.
“It was a fun run in the rain overall, and I was happy to get my legs moving on a track again,” said Laurence, who had a 5K personal best of 19:17 on the track at the NESCAC Championship meet during her senior year. “This was my first race effort on a track since my time at Conn.”
Bosworth said he feels for the athletes who don’t have the opportunity to compete this fall, but he has been impressed with the ways they continue to train.
“It has been great to see from afar how the team has been creating their own competitions via time trials,” he said. “They have been able to work hard to improve on their own, so when regular meets resume in person, they will certainly hit the ground running.”