MEDFORD - Tufts University senior tri-captain Natalie Bettez has been named New England Small College Athletic Confefence (NESCAC) Women's Cross Country Performer of the Week following her first place finish at the Purple Valley Classic.
Bettez, a senior from Bolton, Mass., placed first overall with a time of 22:06.9 in the six-kilometer event. The Purple Valley Classic hosted by Williams College had 13 teams compete and 129 runners finish the race. She was a key reason as to why the Jumbos placed third overall with a score of 114.
With two first-place finishes in the Jumbos' first two events this season, Bettez has started her senior campaign strong. The Jumbos won the Bates Invitational on September 15 with Bettez clocking the best time of 18:08.8 in the 5,000-meter race. Her time was 40 seconds better than the second-place finisher.
This is the second time Bettez has won the Performer of the Week award after winning it on October 9, 2017, which was the last time a Jumbo won the honor. That week, Bettez placed 11th overall with a time of 18:23 at the All-New England Championship. Her mark was the best clocked by any Division III runner at the meet.
Coming off a phenomenal junior season last year when Bettez was named to All-NESCAC First Team and finished in the top two for the Jumbos in six out of seven meets, Bettez placed sixth in the NESCAC Championship. She finished 78th overall (22:24.70) at the NCAA Championships helping Tufts finish seventh out of 32 teams. As a sophomore, Bettez was also named to the All-NESCAC First Team after placing top two for the Jumbos in all seven races she took part in.
Bettez and the Jumbos will return to action on Saturday when they will compete in the Bowdoin Invitational.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello