WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – For the first time in 12 years Williams College will be hosting the NESCAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship races on their course at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown.
The men's race will begin at 12:00 PM and the women's race will start at 1:00 PM. The weather forecast for Saturday features a high of 50 degrees, but some rain will precede the sunny Saturday on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which may make the course a bit slower than usual.
"The Mt. Greylock HS course is true cross country and is in the mid-range of difficulty with a good hill leading into the first woods loop and another in the second loop," noted Eph men's and women's head coach peter Farwell. Farwell is in his 41st year of coaching the Eph men's team and his 20th year coaching the Eph women's team. "The current course is the same course that we hosted ECAC Division III Championship and NCAA Regional championships previously."
When the Ephs hosted the Purple Valley Classic at Mt. Greylock Region High School back on September 28th the men's team took top honors, while the women's team finished second to Tufts. The Ephs' Aidan Ryan won the race in a time of 26:07.3 and the Ephs scored 31 points. Ryan is undefeated this season. Senior William McGovern was third in 26:35.4, senior Kenneth Marshall was seventh in 26:48.3, and senior Nick Gannon came in ninth posting a time of 26:50.5.
Other NESCAC teams competing that day on the course that will be used this Saturday were Middlebury (4th – 145 points), Amherst (5th – 162 points), Connecticut College (6th – 191 points) and Tufts was eighth with 204 points.
In the men's race at the Connecticut College Invitational on October 19 the Ephs' Aidan Ryan set a course record, blazing to a 23:56 finish, helping the Ephs take first with 47 points well ahead of second place MIT's 96 points. Sophomore Elias Lindgren captured 5th place with a time of 24:42. Colby was fourth with 161 points, Middlebury 5th with 190 points, Amherst was 9th with 238 points and host Connecticut College was 11th with 320 points. Wesleyan's 350 points placed them 13th, Trinity was 14th with 367 points and Tufts was 16th with 417 points.
In the Purple Valley women's race freshman Eva Borton led the Ephs finishing third overall in 23:03, while junior Sarah Tully was fifth in 23:28.1. The Ephs finished second to Tufts with the Jumbos scoring 60 points and the Ephs tallying 68 points. Other NESCAC teams competing at the Purple Valley Classic included Middlebury (5th place -- 134 points), Amherst (6th place -- 198 points), Cnnecticut College (9th place -- 231 points) and Hamilton was 10th with 244 points.
At the Connecticut College Invitational on October 19 with a host of NESCAC teams competing the Ephs again finished second, this time to MIT. MIT scored 75 points and the Ephs had 103. Eva Borton and Sarah Tully both finished in the top 10 with Borton in eighth place (21:39.) and Tully finishing 10th in a time of 21:43.6. Other NESCAC teams competing were Tufts (3rd -- 121 points), Middlebury (6th -- 216 points), Wesleyan (9th -- 320 points), Colby (15th -- 388 points), Connecticut College (18th -- 443 points) and Trinity 21st with 504 points.
In the most recent USTFCCCA New England Regional poll the Williams men are ranked first, Colby 3rd, Bates 4th, Middlbury 5th, Amherst 6th, Connecticut College 8th, Wesleyan 9th, and Trinity 10th. The women's New England Regional rankings have Williams second behind MIT, with Tufts 3rd, Middlebury 4th, Bates 5th, Wesleyan 6th, and Amherst 10th.
The Eph men are seeking their 18th overall NESCAC team title and the Eph women are in search of their 17th overall NESCAC title.
"Both of our teams have put in another block of good training since the Connecticut College Invitational and are looking strong," stated Farwell. "Both the men's and women's top groups are deep and have developed very tight scoring packs. Our squads are excited to run at home and know the trails well."
"The top six women from last week are all racing and the men too," stated Farwell. "Our teams always point for NESCACs at the start of championship season and they are getting into peak racing. The NESCAC Championships are always highly competitive and thrilling."
Each school sends 15 runners from each gender to compete at the NESCAC Championship races with the top five runners from each school accounting for the team score.
The 15 Eph men running on Saturday are Aidan Ryan, Ryan Cox, Sam Wischnewsky,Elias Lindgren, Tristan Colaizzi, Peter Kirgis, Kenneth Marshall, William McGovern, Nick Gannon, Lucas Estrada, Kevin Lafleche, Jenks Hehmeyer, Will Young, Ben Hearon, and Chris Avila.
Fourteen of the 15 Eph women's runners are known at this time with the 15th runner to be determined later this week. The fourteen known runners are Anna Passannante, Sarah Tully, Eva Borton, Sarah Lyell, Sarah Jane O'Connor, Jaylan Fraser Mines, Maddy Boutet, Brianna Bourne, Abby Scott, Erica Barrett, Lilly Wells, Leah Rosenfeld, Grace Dailey, and Emma Herrmann.
COMPLETE RESULTS will be posted Saturday at http://www.finishright.com/