Colby College sophomore Sophia Gorman of Charlotte beat the cold, rain, wind, and the entire field of runners to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference Women’s Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park in Boston recently.
Following her top finish, she also was honored last week being named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Women’s Cross Country Most Outstanding Performer and she earned All-NESCAC First Team honors when awards were announced last week.
The 2017 Champlain Valley Union High School graduate and cross-country standout handled Boston’s 35-degree temperatures, a steady rain, and wind in her face during different parts of the course for the Oct. 27 race.
“It was kind of fun and you got to the point where you couldn’t take it too seriously,” Gorman said with a laugh. “There was one point where I stepped in a puddle that went more than an inch above my ankle. There were times in the open field where it was hard to run straight in the wind.”
Colby head coach Jared Beers was not surprised that Gorman handled the elements. “She is a Vermonter,” Beers said. “She is used to this type of weather.”
Leading for most of the race, Gorman finished with a time of 21:54.8 over the 6-kilometer course, beating runner-up Natalie Bettez of Tufts University and third place Rory Kelly of Middlebury College.
“I like to go out hard and I like racing under pressure,” Gorman said. “I wanted to get out ahead early, but I didn’t expect anyone not to come and get me.”
Beers and Gorman sat down to discuss her racing future a few weeks ago with a goal to win the league title in her junior or senior year. “Winning today seemed like a better option,” Gorman said after the race.
Colby finished sixth overall with a score of 154.
Gorman will compete at the New England Division III Championships/NCAA Qualifier on Saturday at Bowdoin College. The NCAA meet is scheduled for Nov. 17 in Oshkosh, Wis.