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Connie Putnam took over as head coach in 1981. Although the team struggled throughout the season with the absence of the team's top runner and captain, Helena Tompuri, Springfield finished fourth at the Holy Cross Invitational. All of the runners obtained personal records at this meet, and the team was beginning to be known as a Division II contender. The team went on to tie with Holy Cross to co-share the title of New England Champions.