NEW ORLEANS – Williams College women's cross country coach Peter Farwell has been named the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) New England Region Women's Coach of the Year, giving him a sweep of the 2019 NCAA Regional awards as he was also named the Men's Coach of the Year.
Farwell, in his 20th year as head coach of the Williams women's team, led the Ephs to the team title at the NCAA New England Region Championships with 64 points. Williams also won team titles at the New England Small College Championships, Keene State Invitational, Purple Valley Classic, and Little Three Championships.
Farwell will be the first to tell you he did not win this award by himself. "Myself and the team are fortunate to have two experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated assistant coaches in Dusty Lopez and Jamie Norton," Farwell said. "When needed they attend to adjustments in training to each athlete individually, and have helped create a training plan that has brought the team progressively to higher fitness and race-readiness."
Williams moved up to No. 3 in the most recent USTFCCCA NCAA DIII national coaches poll from fourth place a week ago thanks to a victory at the NCAA New England Regional Championships.
"The scoring team has improved throughout the season, from the Monmouth meet through the NCAA Regional," Farwell stated. "NESCAC was a real 'tipping point', coming through with the victory, and then the NCAA New England Regional race brought further improvements by many. We're in a good spot going into the NCAA Championship race, with momentum and belief."
"Rankings across so many regions are indefinite, and only the race itself will tell – this team will run its race focusing on themselves, being connected, and using competitors as targets to pass in the final kilometer," Farwell said. "They are truly excited to race and represent Williams at the highest level. "
"This team has truly 'jelled' in aspects of pairs/pack running, getting out a bit faster from the start, and having confidence to push the 'third fourth' of a race, when many runners would let up, and then still have a building kick to the finish," commented Farwell. "Their diligence in the pool, strength training, and form work has paid off."
At the NCAA New England Regional hosted by Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine last Saturday, the Ephs packed up well finishing 8-9-10-16-21 with a 29-second spread in their top five finishers and in the process upset former national #3 MIT and toppled a host of other top-35 programs in the field. In 2015 Williams upset the nation and won its third NCAA title in program history.
"Our full team supports this top group going on to Louisville, and has made a positive impact with their exuberance and joy, for a very positive atmosphere," Farwell added. "A happy runner goes faster!" A caravan of Eph runners representing both the men's and women's Eph cross country teams is planning to follow their teammates to Louisville to provide in-person support.
Under Farwell the Eph women's team has finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships 18 times and his Ephs won the NCAA title in 2002, 2004 and 2015. Little wonder that in 2017 Farwell was inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.