WALTHAM, Mass. – In their first major meet of the 2012 season, the Brandeis women's cross country teams finished tied for fifth out of 38 squads at the UMass Dartmouth Shriner's Invitational .
Junior Victoria Sanford (LaGrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) led the way with an 11th-place finish out of 293 runners. Sanford ran the 5K course in 18:50. She was within 25 seconds of first place and was just six seconds out of the top six. Graduate student Erin Bisceglia (Durham, Conn./Coginchaug) was next, placing 31st overall with a time of 19:18. Junior Ali Kirsch (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) placed 48th overall with a time of 19:46.
Brandeis's next two runners were both rookies. Kelsey Whitaker (Kington, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) just missed the 20-minute barrier, placing 73rd with a time of 20:03, while classmate Maggie Hensel (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) was just five seconds behind, placing 84th. Sophomore Kristi Pisarik (No. Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) and rookie Molly Paris (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) rounded out the Brandeis competitors in 118th and 129th place, respectively.
The Brandeis women finished with 232 points, tied with Division I Bryant University. Both squads were nine points behind Coast Guard in fourth place. They return to action on Oct. 6 at the Open New England Championships at Franklin Park in Boston.