WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Old and young met on Mount Greylock Regional High School's 5k cross country course in atrocious conditions. Rain poured in a deceptively cold 45 degrees, with the course thoroughly muddied from showers earlier in the week. SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SUNY Cobleskill, Green Mountain College and Dean College were also in attendance. Excluding the alumni runners from the scoring, Williams won with a perfect score of 15 points. SUNY Poly came second with 59. Close behind, Cobleskill had 63 to Green Mountain's 120. Dean College did not score.
Among the men's field were 21 current Williams runners, primarily freshmen and sophomores with a smattering of upperclassmen, some of whom had tapered for the meet and were firing on all cylinders. Standout performers included Nick Gannon '20 who finished first for the current Ephs and fifth overall in 16:50. Sam Wischnewsky '20 placed sixth with a 16:52, and William McGovern '20 came in eighth (17:00). David Azzara '19 also ran 17:25, a 14-second improvement on his 2015 course personal best.
The alums, however, carried the day and beat the current students as Connor Kam '10 gapped the field with a convincing 15:57, followed by Sean Hyland '07 (16:38), Peter Watson '13 (16:41), and Brandon Abasolo '13 (16:44). Scott Rodilitz '13 (16:57) and Daniel Siegel '15 (17:00) staked out spots in the top 10 too, placing seventh and eighth, respectively.
Even some of the current coaching staff got in on the action. It was certainly no kidding around for assistant coach Dusty Lopez '01 who, while perhaps no longer in his All-American fitness, ran 17:05 for 10th place. Assistant oach Greg Ferland '16 covered the 5k in 17:46, returning to the course for a fifth consecutive year.
This race, despite its low-key atmosphere, has a great deal of sentimental value for many Williams runners--reason enough to continue putting it on, even in the pouring rain. Reflecting on the meet, assistant coach Nick Lehman noted, "When you have so many people coming from so far away because their Williams cross country experience meant so much to them, it's a real testament to the tremendous family head coach Pete Farwell has built." Tremendous family indeed; year after year the Plansky Invite highlights the passion for running that Farwell instills in all his athletes during their time at the College, and 2016 was no exception.