Williamstown, MA—The men's cross country team played host at the Purple Valley Classic today, competing at Mt. Greylock Regional High School against the best teams in the region, and some of the best in the nation. The Ephs faced off against Amherst, ranked 3rdnationally, RPI, 6th, MIT, 7th, and Middlebury, 8th. Williams entered the meet ranked 17th. In cool, windy conditions, the Ephs finished 2ndoverall with 72 points. RPI won the meet with 41 points, while Middlebury was 3rd, with 103.
The day started with the men's 5k, in which all of Williams' first-years and some upperclassmen competed. Elias Lindgren '22 ran a strong, confident race, winning in a sprint finish in 16:29.7. Jack Wallace '22 finished 5thin 16:42.1, while Jett Ballantyne '22 was 6th, with 16:58.2. Williams ended up edging out WPI 30-30, winning due to the strength of the Ephs' 6th runner.
The men's 8k featured the best individuals and teams in the region. Aidan Ryan '21 and Ryan Cox '20 ran confidently in the top pack, feeling out the pace in the early stages of the race. As RPI's top man gained separation and the pack thinned, both Ephs hung tough. Cox held it together for a 4thplace finish in 25:56.3, while Ryan kicked hard to outlean an Amherst athlete, finishing in 6thin 26:04.1. Behind those two Ephs, a trio of Williams juniors rounded out the top 5. William McGovern '20 kicked it in in 15thin 26:29.4--47 places higher than his finish a year ago. Samuel Wischnewsky '20 finished in 19th, in 26:33.8. In his last race before going abroad, Kenneth Marshall '20 finished 29th, in a time of 26:43.0. Rounding out the top 7 for the Ephs were sophomore Chris Avila '21, who ran 26:58.6 (36th) and Kevin LaFleche '20, who ran 27:06.8 (45th).
Head coach Pete Farwell was excited about how well his team performed, saying, "we really got things going from an individual and team standpoint in the 5k. I was very impressed with how well Elias raced, and his poise and ability to hold off a WPI athlete coming up on him in the last couple steps. WPI came ready to race, and our first-years did very well to pull out the win. In the 8k, I was ecstatic watching our juniors show their strength. We did very, very well to get 2nd, and our guys beat some good athletes and teams. We had good, strong races, and did a great job executing."
The Ephs will return to competition September 29 at the Saratoga Invitational. The meet will be hosted by RPI.