The Williams men’s cross country team opened the 2000 campaign by exacting a measure of international revenge and then returning to Williamstown and defending the home turf for two consecutive weekends.
On the strength of an important contribution from the class of 2003, the Ephs put up two confidence-building wins in their traditional early-season meets.
In Montreal on Sept. 16, Williams suited up for the first time this season. The Eph harriers had owned the McGill Invitational until last year, when a strong team from Sherwood pulled off an upset and ended a three-year string of Williams victories over Canadian competition.
This year’s Eph squad toed the line determined to reassert dominance over our neighbors to the north. On a cold, cloudy morning, coach Pete Farwell’s perennial pack running plan carried the day on McGill’s short six-kilometer course, as Williams won the meet despite not being at full strength.
Karl Remsen ’03 led the charge, finishing second overall in 18:52. Senior co-captain Dusty Lopez was second for the Ephs, finishing fourth overall in 18:58. Chris Garvin ’03 ran well in 19:10, good for 11th place. Continuing the fine performance by sophomores, Andy Golden was next with his time of 19:18 in 13th place. Jay Slowik ’01 completed the scoring for Williams, five seconds and three places behind Golden. Mitchell Baker ’04 and Tim Karpoff ’01 rounded out the top seven. Williams’ final score was 45, to Sherbrooke’s second place 51.
Flush from regaining the Canadian title, the Ephs were fired up for their defense of the home course in the Purple Valley Classic, held at Mt. Greylock High School last weekend. After winning at home last year, the Williams runners had pride on the line as they geared up for their only home meet of the year. Competition from far and wide traveled to Williamstown hoping to dethrone the defending champs, but the Ephs skunked them all, winning easily with five runners in the top nine.
For the second week in a row, rain threatened and clouds kept the temperature cool. However, the Ephs were unperturbed by the conditions and calmly set about proving themselves the class of the meet. By mid-race, the outcome was no longer in doubt and by the time it was over, strong times by Williams runners were the theme of the day. Lopez was first overall in 26:30, bettering the year-old course record held by Michael Danahy of Bates. Remsen also made a run at the old record, finishing two seconds off it in 26:44, good for second overall. Golden was the next Eph runner, in fifth place with his time of 27:00. Slowik joined the party, delivering a big performance and finishing seventh in 27:13.
Two seconds later Garvin crossed the line in ninth place, closing out the Williams scoring.
Karpoff and Wes Reutimann ’02 rounded out the top seven as the Ephs put up a final score of 24, outpacing SUNY Geneseo’s second place score of 52.
In the men’s 5k JV race, Baker took first place in 16:47, another course record. Matt Winkler, Shamus Brady and Eli Lazarus, all first-years, also ran well.
Coach Pete Farwell was very pleased with this week’s performances, saying, “We put in a week of good quality training leading up to this race.”
“If we look this strong after running hard all week, I’m excited for later this season, when we start cutting down our mileage.”
Next week the Ephmen will get their first taste of NESCAC competition at the Tufts Invitational in Grafton, Massachusetts. Coming off two good victories, Williams will be looking to earn early respect from the rest of New England.