Despite humid weather and unfamiliarity with the course, the women's cross-country team dominated at the Wesleyan Invitational. Although the Polar Bears were underdogs to Wesleyan, ranked No. 9, running smart allowed them to escape with a victory last Saturday.

Captain Anna Ackerman '12 took first place in the race. It was an exciting finish, as Ackerman caught and passed the runners in front of her in the last 500 meters. However, it took the efforts of all of the team's runners to win the race.

"Melissa DellaTorre ['14] and Grace Kerr ['11] ran smart races," said coach Peter Slovenski. "The Wesleyan runners slowed down and [we] came back in the final half mile. Melissa and Grace showed a lot of courage to catch them."

Captain Holly Jacobson '11 said that running this race was all about strategy.

"We knew it was a hot day and, consequently, decided to go out conservatively to save our energy for the end," she said. "The end had a steep uphill within the last 800 meters of the race."

Jacobson said although they weren't familiar with the course, properly pacing themselves allowed them to run away with the victory.

In spite of its success, the team remains concerned with staying healthy.

Carolyn Baskir '14, who had the team's best time at the first meet, was sidelined due to inflammation of a tendon.

"Coach told me not to run on Saturday, since it is more important that I'm healthy for the upcoming races," Baskir said.

Baskir returned to running practices on Wednesday, but injuries still lay on the mind of the team's captain.

"Our main focus for the next few weeks is to stay healthy," said Jacobson. "We are at a stage of the season where the mileage begins to add up and our legs start to get tired and sore."

"If the team can stay healthy through October, then we'll be in position to get faster in November," Slovenski said. "All the great training we've done will come back to help us."

After its victory, the team is ranked No. 9 in this week's New England poll, and is hoping to climb up to sixth or seventh by the end of October.

The team will resume action on October 9 at the Franklin Park Course in Boston. There will be 50 teams in the tournament, including D-1 teams.

The team hopes to finish in the top half of the race.

"Our goal [is] to keep our eyes ahead, focus on the little drills and [get] extra sleep in order to not be injured for the next meets," said Jacobson.