The UMass Dartmouth women’s cross country team looks to combine a group of experienced veterans with many new faces this fall, and among those new faces is Head Coach Mike Salem, who takes over after longtime Corsair mentor Jon Hird’s retirement from the University earlier this year.
Salem, a former assistant at Tufts and head women’s track & field coach at Bridgewater State, will look to a pair of seniors to provide leadership to his young squad this fall, as Kirstie Harnden (Fitchburg, Mass./Fitchburg) and Christina Ruiz (Taunton, Mass./Taunton) will serve as UMass Dartmouth’s co-captains. Salem says the duo “have great experience between them and will serve as excellent mentors for their teammates. Both are thoughtful, caring and supportive individuals who bring out the best in their peers, and that will be crucial to the team’s growth as the season progresses.”
Juniors Jessica O’Reilly (Millis, Mass./Millis) and Victoria Spitaels (West Newton, Mass./Newton North), along with sophomores Stephanie Brogdon (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford), Jennifer Jackson (Harwich, Mass./Monomoy Regional), Hannah Landry (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) and Taylor Walsh (Groveland, Mass./Pentucket Regional), lend great depth and experience in the Corsairs’ chase for the Little East Conference title. Salem welcomes freshmen Jackie Broderick (Wilmington, Mass./Shawsheen Valley Tech), Sabina Gill (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) and Alexa Van Voorhis (Raynham, Mass./Coyle-Cassidy) to the fold as newcomers this fall.
The Corsairs will compete in regular season action at Fitchburg State, the Codfish Bowl, Westfield State and Connecticut College while hosting the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday, September 15th. Salem’s squad will be vying for the Little East title on Saturday, October 27th in Smithfield, R.I. before heading to Brunswick, Maine for the NCAA Division III New England Regionals on Saturday, November 10th.
UMass Dartmouth begins the Mike Salem era on Saturday, September 1st by competing at the Fitchburg State Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster, Mass. at 10:30 am EDT.