Amherst, MA—The men's cross country team kicked off the season today with the Little Three Championship, hosted by Amherst College. Racing over 6 kilometers rather than the traditional 8, the Ephs finished 2ndto Amherst in a tight race, 27-32. Wesleyan was 3rd, with 77 points.
Although Little Threes has traditionally been held on the second week of October, many NESCAC teams have changed their schedules this year to better accommodate the inter-regional competition that the NCAA requires to award at-large bids to the National Championship. This race featured the #2 nationally ranked Amherst, who snapped Williams' 29 year winning streak last year. The Ephs were ranked 15th nationally, while Wesleyan is unranked.
Aidan Ryan '21 and Lucas Estrada '21 took the race out fast, with many of their teammates closely following. Ryan gapped the field shortly before the mile mark, and although some Mammoths would reclaim the lead with several hundred meters remaining in the race, he would respond with a fierce finishing burst to win the Little Three Championship in a time of 19:28.0.
Behind Ryan, a number of Ephs moved up well through the pack in the latter half of the race to give the Amherst runners a big scare. First-year Elias Lindgren '22 had an enormous kick to finish 5thoverall in 19:59.6. Ryan Cox '20 ran a solid race, finishing in 7thoverall in 20:03.2. Sam Wischnewsky '20 and Mitchell Morris '19 rounded out the scorers for the Ephs, finishing in 9thand 10thoverall in times of 20:10.1 and 20:10.6, each with big kicks. Kenneth Marshall '19 displaced Amherst's 5thplace runner in 20:11.4 to make the score even closer, finishing 11thoverall.
Head Coach Pete Farwell was excited with his team's performance, saying "we didn't know too much going into this race. Where Amherst and Wesleyan were, and quite how we were. So I'm very pleased with how our guys competed, and I think they showed that the labors of all their summers are bearing fruit. A number of our first-years had good first showings in uniform, especially Elias, who had a great kick to nab Amherst's 4thguy. I was also impressed with guys farther down on our depth chart, who competed real well, kicked hard, and told me that they felt great. I think we're at a great starting point for the season, and I'm looking forward to seeing where we go!"
The Ephs will return to competition September 22, at the Purple Valley Classic. The race will be held at Mt. Greylock Regional High School near Williams' campus.