Leavitt and Shapiro Shine in the Roger Williams College Invitational

Shun Hasegawa

The Beacons’ dual aces, freshman Mike Leavitt and sophomore Sarah Shapiro won the second and third places respectively in the men’s and women’s Roger Williams College Invitational on Saturday, October 9. A UMB van left the campus carrying the eight-runner cross country team, including five women and three men, to arrive at the venue in Bristol, Rhode Island, by 10 a.m. With an hour to go before the race, Leavitt, sophomore Thy Toeum, and Jason Zugian began to warm up in preparation the Beacons in the men’s five-mile race. Leavitt went aggressively from the beginning by reaching the two-mile checkpoint first to reign over the 100 other runners. Though he missed his bid to win a collegiate race for the first time was rubbed by with merely a mile to go and finished seconds behind the winner, his second-place finish satisfied himself. Asked about his finish time and overall performance, “The course was tough because there were a lot of turns. So, I didn’t pay much attention to [my finish] time . . . I finished at the second. I’m pretty happy about that.” Toeum and Zugian goaled and the respectively. According to Toeum, their finish times didn’t indicate their potential, “We lost our way at around the fourth mile and wandered around for almost ten minutes. This [race] doesn’t count.” The Beacons were not qualified to compete as a team due to failing to have five layers required. In the women’s race at noon, Shapiro, two-time winner of the Little East Conference “Player of the Week,” led the Beacons with a swift start to be in the trophy-at-sake group. As the two front runners gradually widened the margin between them and Shapiro, her primary focus turned into a tense battle for the third place with. By putting herself in top gear, the champion of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Invitational left her rival in the dust to grab the prize. However, Shapiro was not too happy with the result, “My legs were heavy today. Otherwise, I could have been at least [at the second place].” She said. Sophomore Emily Schwan did her part admirably as the second-best of the team, finishing at the place (TIME). Although suffering from the many turns and rugged obstacles on the trail, she showed her blood as a genuine cross-country runner. After the race she said, “This course was pretty hard. But I got really excited to run the race when, for the first time we walked around it. I love this course.” Senior EJ Sohn followed with a-place goal after her finishing spurt in the last 100 meters lifted her to be the top of a seven-runner group. And sophomore Katrina Dahlgren Zanetta was the (TIME) to show rapid improvement in her third race as a Beacon. The four women XC runners, joined by the men’s team, gathered around the goal line to welcome junior Leslie Blangiforte who finished her first race in two weeks at the (TIME) after twisting her right ankle back on September 25. Blangiforte was moved, “That was great. Running a kind of far behind them, I didn’t expect anybody waiting for me.” The UMass Boston team of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Invitational finished at the eighth place among thirteen contenders with points. College won the race with points. The Beacons have four more races left in the 2004 season until November 13. After enduring several hour-long trips all over New England, thankfully `the team won’t have the same problem next week in the Eastern Nazarene College Invitational in Quincy on Saturday, October 16.