February 2012 cover SCAN ;St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
February 2012
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Sisterhood Is Powerful

Wildcat harriers compete in Seven Sisters cross-country meet.

This fall, St. Catherine joined an exclusive all-girls' club when it was invited to participate in the Seven Sisters cross-country meet at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia.

The Seven Sisters is a group of all-women's colleges located in the northeastern United States. Historically, the group included Bryn Mawr, Barnard College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College and Wellesley College. In recent decades, two of the seven — Radcliffe and Vassar — no longer exclusively admit women.

When Mike Henderson, St. Kate's head cross-country coach, learned about the event earlier in the year, he contacted organizers and asked if St. Kate's could participate.

Entry requirements for most cross-country meets are usually casual, but the Seven Sisters meet is a closed event. "They have a governing committee. This is a big deal," Henderson explains. "The committee approved us being part of it. They were excited to welcome another all-women's college."

In October, a pack of Wildcats flew to Pennsylvania to take part in the event. The team placed fourth, energized by the opportunity to meet and socialize with scholar-athletes from other all-women's colleges.

"It was a really big deal, a really cool experience," says Wildcats co-captain Heidi Sande '12. "We got to compete against these great schools. Once we were out there, all the other athletes were very welcoming. We felt accepted."

Perhaps the Seven Sisters will welcome a new family member. Other coaches told Henderson that his runners would be invited to the event again next year. "We'd like make it an annual thing," he says. "And down the road, we'd even like to host." -- Andy Steiner

She, woodcut, 23"x31"

Wildcats cross-country team at Bryn Mawr College in October 2011