Williamstown, MA—The men's cross country team will compete Saturday in the 2018 NESCAC Cross Country Championship, vying to win its 5thtitle in 6 years. The race will be held at Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Tufts is the meet host. The weather is forecasted to be wet and windy—real cross country weather for which the Ephs are well-suited. This meet, the lineup will feature 15 Ephs.
The Ephs go into the meet ranked 2ndin the New England region and 11thnationally. Although the Ephs entered the season as the preseason #4 ranked team in the region, they have surprised this season with a number of strong performances. The NESCAC is heavily featured in the regional and national rankings. Amherst is #1 in New England (#8 nationally), followed by Williams, Middlebury at #3 regionally (#14), Tufts (#5, #21), Bowdoin (#6, #27), Connecticut College (#7, #33), and Trinity (#9, NR).
The Ephs have been aided this season by a terrific duo in Aidan Ryan '21 and Ryan Cox '20. Ryan and Cox have been the Ephs' two top runners at every 8k this season and each have been among the best runners in the NESCAC. Also in the top 4 at every meet for the Ephs is William McGovern '20 and Sam Wischnewsky '20. Behind those 4, several Ephs have finished in the scoring 7 for the Ephs, including Lucas Estrada '20, Elias Lindgren '22, Jack Wallace '22, Kevin LaFleche '20, Chris Avila '21, and Sam Gilman '21. At a meet like the NESCAC Championship, the Ephs are primed to draw strength from their quality of depth, a depth unmatched by any other team in the NESCAC.
Although Amherst entered the season on the back of a program-first 4thplace at NCAAs last year, the Ephs have vied with them all season for top regional rankings. While Amherst got the best of the Ephs at the Little Three Championship, the Ephs finished ahead of every NESCAC team at the Purple Valley Classic, including Amherst, and finished a very close 2ndto Amherst at the Connecticut College Invitational two weekends ago, 72-76. Saturday's contest should provide another chance for the Ephs to spar with their top rival and continue making their imprint on the season.
Head Coach Pete Farwell looks forward to the meet, saying "the team is mostly healthy and looking sharper by the week, with speed coming on to go with great endurance. On days with challenging conditions those that embrace it will fare better, and our team has the spirit to dive in wholeheartedly. Our team has always packed well, but this year's group is deeper than ever. 5 men score, but 2 more can displace, and in this close meet that could be the difference. We have really filled the gaps left from 2018 graduation, and several of the team abroad this semester. Everyone of team ramped up their training over the summer, and each has improved immensely in the 8 weeks since we started team practices, and progressively better each meet."
The men's race will begin at 11 AM.