Williamstown, MA—The William's men's cross country team heads to Oshkosh, Wisconsin this weekend to compete at the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championship, held at Lake Breeze Golf Club. The Ephs will be competing against the 31 best teams and 56 best individuals from across all of Division III. The race will begin at 12:15 CST.
The Ephs are coming off of six straight 2ndplace performances, beginning at Little Threes on September 8 and culminating in the New England Regional November 10. Ranked 2ndin the region and 11thnationally, the Ephs are joined by five other New England teams: 8thranked Amherst, 16thMiddlebury, 19thMIT, 27thTufts, and 29thBates.
Last year, in Elsah, Ill., the Ephs finished 13thas a team. Just two Ephs from that squad will be competing on Saturday: Ryan Cox '20 and Aidan Ryan '21. The two have been a formidable 1-2 punch for Williams this season. Cox has been among the best in the region this year, with Ryan either in lockstep or a stride behind. Cox won the NESCAC Championship this year, the first Eph to do so since Colin Cotton in 2014; Cotton finished 2ndin the nation that year.
Joining Cox and Ryan is a young, but talented group: William McGovern '20, Sam Wischnewsky '20, Tristan Colaizzi '20, Kevin LaFleche '20, and Elias Lindgren '22. McGovern has been Williams' third man in every 8k this year, and has been getting stronger at the season progresses. He was 20that the NESCAC Championship, which featured 11 teams, and 20that the New England Championship two weeks later, which featured 58. Close behind his suitemate in many races this season has been Wischnewsky. Wischnewsky has come into his own this season, smashing previous personal bests to be a mainstay in Williams' varsity seven. He is well-suited for the fast, flat course of the Lake Breeze Golf Club. Colaizzi and LaFleche, All-Americans on the track in the 1500 and 800, respectively, have proven this season that they can compete on the grass as well. Colaizzi has been in Williams' scoring 5 in both the NESCAC and Regional Championships. LaFleche, meanwhile, has either been in Williams' varsity seven or 8thman at every 8k this season. Each are well-equipped to deal with the fast starts that NCAA's is known for. Lindgren has been a diamond in the rough for the Ephs, announcing himself with a 5thplace finish at the Little Three Championship to start the year. Although only a freshman, Lindgren races with patience and intelligence beyond his years.
Assistant Coach Jamie Norton was excited about how the team looked, saying, "I think we're relaxed and excited for the races this weekend. We don't really have any specific expectations, just looking forward to another opportunity to have fun competing together. We've built a lot of positive momentum over the past few weeks; I think it's safe to say that we had our best race of the season at regionals, so we're feeling ready to carry that fitness into this weekend. We're healthy, fit, strong, and confident - not much more anyone could ask for heading into the championship race!"