MONTREAL, QC—Men's cross country traveled north of the border Saturday morning to run at the McGill Invitational. As the only team from the United States, Williams faced challengers from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. This six-kilometer race was shorter than the usual distance at which the Ephs compete, but still proved an adequate test to the athletes' fitness.
The host McGill took home the victory over Williams by a narrow margin of 30 to 34. Each team placed four runners in the top ten. Santiago Bessai of McGill was the individual champion in 20:01, followed closely by two Ephs: Peter Hale '17 in 20:02 and Griffin Colaizzi '18 in 20:04.
Hale, Colaizzi, and Ben Decker '18 worked together throughout the race to push each other towards the leaders. After a conservative start, they gradually moved up as a group and took turns leading each other forward. Decker ran 20:21 to finish in eighth place.
Right behind this first group, four more Williams runners crossed the line within four seconds of each other. Noah Williams '17 took tenth place in 20:28 directly followed by Austin Anderson '19 in 20:29. Then, Luke Hinz '17 edged out Kyle Kistinger '16 at the line to take 13th place. Both athletes finished in 20:32 to round out the Ephs' top seven.
Head coach Pete Farwell was pleased by this style of team racing, and noted that it wasn't just his top athletes who worked in packs. "All the way down the lineup we had groups working together," he said. Farwell also praised Colaizzi, Hinz, and Anderson for their performances. "Griffin and Luke are showing huge improvements from last year," he added, "and Austin excelled in his first collegiate race."
The next Williams finisher was Liam Simpson '18, who placed 18th in 20:49. Zeke Cohen '19 took 21st in 20:51 and his classmate Lucas Estrada '19 was 26th in 21:01. Walker Knauss '19 (29th, 21:03), captain Todd Ford '16 (30th, 21:04), and captain Matt Tarduno '16 (32nd, 21:08) were the Ephs' remaining top-50 performers.
On the whole, Coach Farwell was impressed with his athletes' efforts on the day. "Our goal was to start out smooth and progress throughout the race," he explained. "Everyone moved up well and finished strong. It was an especially great effort from our first-years in their first college race."
The Ephs will not race next weekend, but return to action when they host the Purple Valley Classic on September 26.