MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- The Ephmen went international this weekend as 40 members of the men's cross country team traveled to the francophone metropolis of Montréal, Canada to compete in the McGill Invitational. Between the baking afternoon sun, and high humidity, the 6-kilometer course consisting of three, 2-kilometer loops over rolling hills proved a difficult task for all involved. Placing 4-6-8-11-13-14, the top seven men scored 36 points to fend off Université Laval and McGill who scored 61 and 87 points, respectively. Sherbrooke Vert et Or came fourth with 142, and Université Montréal fifth with 152. In the individual competition, Francois Jarry of McGill placed first in a speedy 19:38 in a field of 306 runners.
Leading the charge for Williams was captain Liam Simpson '18 (19:56), joined by Aidan Ryan '21 (20:02). The rest of the top seven paced themselves quite well, exhibiting textbook pack running. Austin Anderson '19, captain Ben Decker '18, Mitch Morris '19, Tristan Colaizzi '20, and Peter Kirgis '20 all finished between 20:03 and 20:16.
Several other first-year runners also had the opportunity this weekend to begin their college racing careers. Will Young '21 placed 15th in 20:24. Chris Avila '21 (30th, 20:58), Jake Lange '21 (38th, 21:06), Matthew Peacock '21 (44th, 21:16), and Sam Gilman '21 (45th, 21:17) were all in close contact during the race. Chris Heckleman '21 finished 87th in 22:08. Other solid performances included Jake Kahrs '19, 29th in 20:55, Sam Wischnewsky '20, 34th in 21:00, and Kenneth Marshall '20, 36th in 21:00.
Head coach Pete Farwell was pleased with the team victory as well as individual performances. "We're always excited to be in Montreal," said Farwell. "It's a great atmosphere. We come here because I like to see different kinds of competition, with added cultural exposure. That said, it's a challenging course, with good hills, and you have to pace yourself well in this heat. We had two front runners that did well, with five guys moving together behind and that was awesome. I also saw unbelievable kicks today, espcially from Jacob Cytrynbaum '18 [80th, 22:00], and his brother Eli Cytrynbaum '20 [81st, 22:01]--overall a great start to the season, and it shows the work we put in over the summer."
Next Saturday, many of the Ephs will compete on home turf in the 8-kilometer Purple Valley Classic, with a smaller squad going to Lehigh's Paul Short Run the following Saturday. With the leaves already changing and October looming, what will the men's cross country team accomplish next?