NEW ORLEANS – When you are undefeated as a runner and a team this far into the season regional honors are not out of the question and such is the case for both the Ephs' top runner Aidan Ryan and the head coach Peter Farwell.
Last Saturday Ryan, a junior from New York, New York, won the individual title at the NCAA New England Regional Championships in 24:51.6. Ryan opened his season with a win at the Monmouth Kick-Off race and defeated a field of runners that included athletes from NCAA DI and DII.
Ryan also won individual titles at the NESCAC Cross Country Championships as well as the Connecticut College Invitational, the Purple Valley Classic, the Little Three Championships, and the Monmouth Kick-Off. For his performance thus far Aidan Ryan has been named the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) New England Regional Male Athlete of the Year.
"It was clear early on that Ryan had built up his mileage and aerobic capacity over the summer," Eph head coach Peter Farwell said. "He was just cruising through our two-hour runs. With his racing instinct, speed, and the ability to run in the front or from behind combined with his overall consistency Ryan has become a standout runner. There will be some good competition for Ryan in Louisville and it will be fun to see how that all turns out."
The (USTFCCCA) also named Peter Farwell the Men's New England Region Coach of the Year.
Farwell, in his 41st year as head coach of the Ephs, led Williams to the team title at the NCAA New England Region Championships with 24 points. Williams also won team titles at the New England Small College Championships, Connecticut College Invitational, Keene State Invitational, Purple Valley Classic, Little Three Championships, and the Monmouth Kick-Off.
Asked about his honor Farwell was quick to point out, "We have a good staff with assistant coaches Dusty Lopez and Jamie Norton who have come up with great training sessions and workouts and there is also something special about this team. Our captains have done an incredible job of organizing pool workouts and training sessions. The leadership from the captains has just been extraordinary and it has created a truly unified team spirit."
Indicative of the special season the Ephs are having is the late breaking news that Williams has supplanted North Central College in the national poll, climbing to number one and North Central is now ranked second, heading into the NCAA Championship Race on Saturday.