Williamstown, MA- Last week the Ephs went up against some of the top talent in the region in the New England Division I Championships. Next week Williams will face off against Wesleyan and archrival Amherst as they attempt to defend their Little Three Championship crown for a 20th consecutive year. This week's meet, the Plansky Invitational, named for famed Williams cross-country coach Tony Plansky, served a slightly different purpose. With the team's eyes firmly set on victory next week, Coach Pete Farwell emphasized that the weekend meet was more of a tune-up for next week's competition than anything else. In fact, many of Williams top runners substituted the race with a hard training workout run alongside the Mt. Greylock High School course before the gun went off.
Still, a number of Eph runners laced up their spikes to race the 5K and 8K courses at Mount Greylock High School, which also happens to be the sight of next week's crucial championship meet. Matt Deady '10 won the open 5K race, in a time of 16:59. Senior Aaron Schwartz finished 7th, running 17:14, and Schuyler Hall '10 ran a significant personal best time of 17:24. Assumption College won the open 5K race.
In the men's 8K, Jeffrey Stenzel '10 led the way for Williams, finishing with a time of 26:56. Freshman David Carlin was second for the Ephs, running 27:45. Both men placed very well despite treating the race as a hard tempo workout and having energy reserves at the end. M.I.T. took the team title in the 8K race, with Williams College placing 5th.
In addition to hosting top teams from around New England, the race also served to honor the late Anthony "Tony" Plansky. Plansky played professional football for the New York Giants, professional baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, and was a cross-country coach at Williams for 48 years. The track at Williams College bears his name. He was also National Decathlon Champion and was named the 62nd greatest athlete of the 20th century by the Boston Globe, although some people called him "the greatest athlete I ever saw".
With the biggest meets of the year fast approaching, the Plansky Invitational was a good opportunity for the Eph men's squad to get in a solid workout, consolidate gains made in training, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather in the Berkshires.