Brunswick, ME—The men's cross country team competed today at the NCAA New England Regional Championship, hosted by Bowdoin on their campus. The Ephs faced off against every NESCAC school save Hamilton, as well as 48 other schools. Despite the stiff competition, the Ephs more than held their own, finishing 2ndto Amherst with 86 points to Amherst's 65, clinching an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Middlebury and MIT finished 3rdand 4th, with 142 and 145 points respectively.
Going into the meet, The Ephs were ranked 2ndin the region (behind Amherst, and ahead of Middlebury and MIT, in that order). Although the New England Region usually receives at least two at-large bids beyond the automatic bids that the top two teams earn, Williams wanted to leave nothing to chance and ensure their selection.
Although the race began aggressively, Williams' runners were running smart races, with only Ryan Cox '20 and Aidan Ryan '21 among the top pack in the early miles. Behind those two, William McGovern '20 continually moved up, keying off of a runner in Amherst's scoring 5. As they ran at NESCACs, the pack of Elias Lindgren '22, Tristan Colaizzi '20, Sam Wischnewsky '20, and Lucas Estrada '20 worked well together, moving up throughout the race, each taking the brunt of the work at different times. Ryan and Cox moved in tandem to the lead halfway through the race, surging together to ensure a higher finish for both. The race ended up coming down to a kick, with athletes seeking individual bids to NCAAs battling it out for top honors. Cox and Ryan finished close behind the leaders, in 5thand 6th, in respective times of 25:01.8 and 25:05.6. Behind those two, McGovern finished 20thin 25:43.3, followed in short order by Lindgren (25:48.5) and Colaizzi (25:51.3). Wischnewsky and Estrada rounded out the top 7 for the Ephs, each finishing before the 5thrunner from any team other than Williams and Amherst (26:04.4, 38th; 26:10.5, 46th).
Coaches Pete Farwell and Jamie Norton were each pleased with how the team performed. Said Norton, "I thought we had a really positive day for our team. When you look at where our guys finished, we essentially replicated our NESCAC places in a field of 400, not 150. That shows we've made great strides from two weekends ago, and we're still gaining momentum as we head into NCAAs." Farwell, meanwhile, touted the individual performances of his athletes, saying "Aidan had a super day today, running with Ryan again and showing himself that a patient approach, both with recovering from mild injuries and to racing, pays dividends. Will McGovern is cutting down the gaps to the top 2, and within the pack of 4 that showed themselves at NESCACs, today we had Elias and Tristan doing great to pick up the slack. Our guys looked happy, healthy, and strong, and I'm excited for them to be their best runners at NCAAs next week."
Williams will next compete November 17, at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championship, held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.