KEENE, NH – With many of their junior and senior runners taking the day off, the Williams College Ephs still enjoyed a strong showing at the Keene (NH) State Invitational, finishing in 1st out of 16 teams.
Full results for the race can be found HERE.
Racing mostly freshmen and sophomores, Williams showed off their remarkable depth against New England DIII schools in Keene. This race was the first college 8K for many of the freshmen, but the Ephs still put out a very strong effort, winning the race and finishing five runners in the top 18. Williams finished with 56 points, ahead of second-place Brandeis (83) and UMass Dartmouth (88). The next NESCAC team in the standings was Middlebury, who finished 5th with 155 points.
"This meet showed that we have a great team from top to bottom," commented Eph assistant coach Dusty Lopez following the meet. "It's fun to see people make the most of their chance to be the front-runner."
It's a testament to Williams' depth and belief in their younger runners that they still won the race by a 27-point margin.
Will Spollen '23 continued his standout freshman season by pacing the Ephs in his first 8K. Spollen finished 7th and top among all Eph runners with a time of 26:30.4, good for a pace of 5:20 per mile. Caleb Dittmar '23 and Ben Hearon '21 weren't far behind, finished 9th and 10th in 26:32.9 and 26:38.7.
To finish out the Ephs' top seven, Ryan Watson '22 finished in 15th, Jake Lange '21 in 18th, Christian Maloney '21 in 38th, and Grant Gattuso '23 coming in at 41st. All of the top seven Ephs finished in under 28 minutes, with Gattuso crossing the line at 27:44.1. The Ephs were the only team to finish with five runners in the top 20.
Suffolk's Matyas Csiki-Feijer was the only runner to finish below the 26-minute threshold, with a time of 25:57.3 at a 5:14 pace. Mark Murdy and Matthew Driben of Brandeis finished in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, while Jake Pearl of Keene State finished 4th, Bruno Pires of UMass Dartmouth in 5th, and Liam Fleming of Colby-Sawyer in 6th.
The racing conditions – both the weather and the course – were nearly perfect. "It was about as good as you're going to get for a cross-country race," remarked Lopez following the meet. "It was a really nice course, perfectly flat. There were almost no elevation changes. It was a nice setup – faster and some good competition."
Two weeks from now, on October 19th at 12 PM, the Ephs will continue their season at the Inter-Regional Meet at Connecticut College.