Men's Cross Country Season Outlook

Ryan Cox '20
Ryan Cox '20

Williamstown, MA—Men's cross country team head coach Pete Farwell will begin his 40th season coaching on September 8, at the Little Three Championship at Amherst College.

The Ephs will be looking to rebound after a slightly subpar season last fall and to continue their long history of success at the NESCAC, regional, and national level. Last year, the Ephs finished 5that the NESCAC Championship, 4that the New England Regional Championship and 13that the NCAA Championship. This year, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has ranked Williams 4thin the region and 15thnationally in the preseason poll.

Lost to graduation are stalwarts Ben Decker '18, Griffin Colaizzi '18, and Liam Simpson '18. Those three were outstanding athletes and co-captains (along with Andrew Bloniarz '18) and formed the core of Williams' varsity crew for the last three years. Missing from last year's NCAA squad as well will be Nick Gannon '20 and Peter Kirgis '20, who will be abroad this fall. Although all those athletes will be missed, the Ephs still return several runners from last year's NCAA championship, and have a young, ascendant group ready to step up and perform.

Leading the way for the Ephs should be sophomore Aidan Ryan '21 and junior Ryan Cox '20. Ryan finished 92ndat last year's NCAA Championship and is the top returning Eph. Cox finished 101stand continued to improve on the track, finishing 14that the NCAA Outdoor Championship over 10,000 meters.

Although no Ephs other than those two have yet proved themselves at the national level, Williams' renowned depth is again its strength this season. Said Coach Farwell, "with many fine runners from last year having graduated, and four abroad for the fall semester, there will be many new faces in our top seven, and the 15-man NESCAC squad. Dedication and striving for improvement is what a coach most enjoys seeing within a team, and it will be a thrill to see the fruits of those efforts by our Ephs this fall. We also have a good core of '22 first-years who can make an impact within those two groups."

Farwell also noted that the schedule for the Ephs is markedly different this year than in those previous, saying, "our squad has trained well over the summer to get off the line quickly as our first meet this year is the Little Three Championship, on #2 NCAA-ranked Amherst's home course. Our new schedule has several inter-regional meets of high quality competition that we are excited about having our full rosters being ready and able to race."

The Ephs' first home meet will be on September 22 at Mt. Greylock Regional High School.