Men's Cross Country Awaits Purple Valley Classic

Austin Anderson '18
Austin Anderson '18

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- In their first home meet of the season this Saturday at Mount Greylock Regional High School, the men's cross country team will take on 27 teams in both 5k and 8k contests in another edition of the celebrated Purple Valley Classic. The Purple Valley Classic has long attracted teams from far and wide to the Berkshires, and this year even McGill University has graciously ventured south from Montréal to face the Ephs for the second consecutive week.

The men's varsity 8K race will begin at 12:10 PM. 

Despite its status as an early season invitational, the meet boasts an enticing competitive field with ten regionally-ranked teams according to the recent USTFCCCA poll the results of which can be accessed here. From New England, second-ranked MIT, third-ranked Amherst, fourth-ranked Middlebury, and seventh-ranked Tufts will be in attendance. Representing the Atlantic Region, SUNY Geneseo (1st), RPI (2nd), Hamilton (6th), St. Lawrence (8th) and Vassar (10th) will join the fray. Finally, hailing from the Mideast, Dickinson (4th) will also make an appearance. Williams is currently ranked first in New England and fourth in the nation. 

On the individual level, the Williams men's 8k field boasts 18 upperclassmen headed by captains Ben Decker '18 and Liam Simpson '18. Saturday will mark their first 8k race of the 2017 season. The 5k, often a first-year affair in the past, will also have upperclassmen representatives including captain Andrew Bloniarz '18, in addition to Cole Fluehr '18 and Dan Mueller '18--seniors in their first season of collegiate cross country. 

Due to extensive construction projects at the venue, both courses have been altered this year, in particular the start and finish lines, but they will still feature the signature woods loops with rolling hills. Head coach Pete Farwell could not have characterized them better as, "good, fair, challenging courses of true cross country." 

Because of the construction, fans are encouraged to park at Margaret Lindley Park or the Taconic Park Restaurant where a shuttle bus will take them to and from MGRHS. Both of these parking locations are on opposite sides of the intersection of Route 7 and Route 2 West. Entrances are on Route 7 either from the North or the South. A map of those landmarks can be found here.