Bethlehem, PA—The Williams men's cross country team competed today at the 43rd annual Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh University. This meet is one of the largest and highest quality in the country, with over 5000 athletes competing, representing more than 400 colleges, high schools, and clubs. The meet features more than a dozen races for men and women over the course of the day.
The top collegiate event was the Gold 8k, featuring 38 teams, including those of the highest caliber for each of Division I, Division II and Division III. Iona University won the meet, scoring just 34 points. Georgetown was 2nd with 115 points, and Division II powerhouse Adams State was 3rd with 142. Williams took 14th place to finish as the top team from Division III for the fourth consecutive year. The Ephs also finished ahead of many Division I schools, including Buffalo, Lehigh, Temple, and UMass.
The individual champion was Georgetown's Scott Carpenter, who covered the course in 23:37. He was quickly followed by an Iona duo, Kieran Clements and Gilbert Kirui, who finished in 23:38 and 23:40 respectively. The top Williams finishers were Ben Decker '18 and captain Peter Hale '17, who ran much of the race together to finish in 24:37 and 24:39 for 74th and 78th place respectively.
Not far behind Decker and Hale, the rest of the varsity team kicked it in, all 10 runners finishing with personal best times. Liam Simpson '18 crossed the line in 24:55 (110th) with a huge finishing sprint, followed closely by Griffin Colaizzi '18, running 24:59 (121st). Captain Noah Williams '17 was next for the Ephs, moving up well throughout the race to finish in 25:04 (128th).
Rounding out the top 7 were two sophomores with breakout races, Austin Anderson '19 and Mitchell Morris '19. Each made strong surges over the last two miles to improve their personal bests by nearly 90 seconds, running 25:08 (136th place) and 25:13 (153rd place) respectively. About their performances, Farwell said that "Austin and Mitch really ran great races. Austin went out faster than usual and mixed it up with our top guys. Mitch, a complete novice to the 8k this season, is catching on quick and paced his run perfectly."
While Farwell was pleased with individual performance, he was most excited about his team's spread. "Our top 7 were only separated by 30 seconds, and even our 9th runner was only 50 seconds back. That can be somewhat easier when we don't have fast top guys, but our top runners are very fast. That sort of spread speaks volumes about our quality of depth," explained Farwell.
Five additional Williams runners competed earlier in the day in the Open Race. Luke Hinz '17 paced the Ephs with a massive personal best, running 25:53 for 80th place. He was followed by four Williams first-years competing in their debut 8k: Ryan Cox '20 (26:08, 105th); Peter Kirgis '20 (26:17, 124th); Sam Wischnewsky '20 (26:23, 129th); and Tristan Colaizzi '20 (26:36, 162nd).
"I'm delighted with how everyone ran in the Open race. The first-years did very well holding back early, and they had great times for their first ever 8k. Luke Hinz had a nice personal best, which was great to see," said Farwell.
"This was an extremely high quality meet, and we did well in our first real test of fitness. We threw ourselves into the melee of DI runners, and acquitted ourselves well. This meet very much prepares us for the national championship," continued Farwell.
The Ephs will be back in action on Saturday, October 8, at the James Earley Invitational hosted by Westfield State College.