Despite performing at the Open New England Championship without three of their top seven runners, the women's cross-country team managed to finish 23 out of the 47 teams and ninth among D-III schools.

"Despite this handicap, we did pretty well," said captain Holly Jacobson.

The team did not place far behind Colby, who is the defending state champion and was favored to win to the meet.

First year Carolyn Baskir beat the top three Colby runners on Saturday.

"Although I beat them, I can't expect to beat them again and will need to maintain focus and have a good strategy," Baskir said. "I wasn't very happy with my result on Saturday because I ran a minute slower than my best time last season."

However, Head Coach Peter Slovenski admires Baskir's courage.

"Carolyn was right in the mix with the fastest runners in New England," he said. "She got in good position, and then showed a lot of courage in the last mile."

First year Melissa DellaTorre was impressive as well, breaking the 20-minute barrier in the 5K for the first time in her career.

"It was a great time for Melissa to run a personal best," Coach Slovenski said. "Her improvement has been a big help to the team."

The fact that the women's cross-country team will be at home for the State Championship is an important advantage to the team as well.

"I think we can make it close. We ran well at the New England's, but I think we'll run a lot faster [than last week] and on our home course in the state meet," said Slovenski.

"To prepare for the state meet we're doing a lot of our running on the home course," added Baskir.

The team has been focusing on "the gully," one of the trickiest sections on the course, according to junior captain Anna Ackerman.

Without the full top seven again—one gone due to injury and another because of a field trip—Jacobson hopes that home-course advantage will put results on their side.

The team believes that they need to be mentally prepared for this meet as well as other meets. First time cross-country runner Madelena Rizzo '14 is approaching this meet like the previous ones.

"I am approaching this meet with an open attitude, no expectations of myself, and a realization of the upcoming opportunity," she said.

The meet is tomorrow at 11 a.m. behind the field house.

"It would be a great support if friends, classmates, faculty would come out behind the field house to cheer," Jacobson said.