- Location: Williamstown, Mass.
- The Lead: On Saturday afternoon at the season-opening Purple Valley Classic, the No. 5 ranked MIT women's cross country team placed second overall out of 23 teams in the meet that was held at Mount Greylock High School. The Engineers finished just six points behind No. 2 SUNY Geneseo and 29 points in front of No. 1 ranked Williams College.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Freshman Megan McCandless (Livermore, Calif.) picked up her first career victory as she crossed the line in 21:58.3 to claim the win by two seconds. McCandless pulled away in a hilly third mile as she ran 5:57 over the third mile that featured a major uphill and a steep downhill.
- Sophomore Leandra Zimmermann (Augsburg, Germany) placed 11th in 22:35.8, while freshman Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Washington) was 14th in 22:39.6 and junior Mary Eccles (Wahiawa, Hawaii) crossed in 18th at 22:47.1. The final scoring runner for the Engineers was freshman Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.), who finished the first race of the season in 23:04.8 to place 27th.
- Rounding out the team's top seven were sophomore Jenny Xu (Cupertino, Calif.) in 49th place in 23:30.9, followed by junior Clementine Mitchell (Glasgow, Scotland) in 53rd place with a time of 23:35.3.
- In a race that featured 10 nationally-ranked teams overall, MIT had its top five runners finish within 1:06 of each other. Overall, the race had 278 finishers.
- MIT is back in action on Saturday, October 8th as the Engineers head to Franklin Park for the 2016 NEICAAA Championships.