Williams’s academic calendar might have just begun, but the men’s and women’s cross-country teams have been at work since last May, gathering mileage and momentum for this fall season in which everything – the NESCAC championship, the Division III New England title and a berth to NCAAs – is up for grabs.
For the men, “the NESCAC will be a real battle with Tufts, Trinity and Bowdoin, and the New England region is strong with Keene State and MIT,” said Peter Farwell, head men’s and women’s cross-country coach. “We will have to be very much improved to challenge for both the NESCAC and New England titles. Historically, our team has worked very hard over the summer months and I expect we will be ready to compete.”
That hard summer work is what gives the Purple Valley harriers their annual depth, and once again the Ephs will rely on a closely-grouped core of upperclassmen to lead the pack.
Men’s co-captains Ben Chaffee ’02 and Zach Blume ’02 have established themselves as front-runners, and look forward to the return of co-captain Wes Reutimann ’02, currently on the mend from an Achilles tendon injury.
Karl Remsen ’03, Chris Garvin ’03 and Neal Hannan ’03 – in his first cross-country season since undergoing knee surgery in the summer of 2000 – bring racing experience beyond their years to the Williams ranks, having all competed at the collegiate national level.
Shamus Brady ’04, Matt Winkler ’04 and Mitchell Baker ’04 will no doubt add to their accomplishments from last year’s cross-country and track seasons, where they earned their stripes as consistent point-scorers. The class of 2005, though untested, has brought energy and enthusiasm to the heavy training regimen and awaits their collegiate eight-kilometer (five mile) debut at Tufts’s Grafton Invitational on Sept. 29.
Mileage-honed and mentally refreshed, women’s team co-captain Julia Bensen ’03 is in the hunt for a second year of all-America honors. Joining Bensen at the women’s helm are co-captains Terri O’Brien ’02 and Katie Sharff ’02. Sharff contributed a pair of key finishes at last year’s NESCAC and Division III New England championships, and has her eyes on an all-American finish in her senior cross-country season.
Jonni Vasse ’02, a member of the scoring five in 1999 and recently back from a year abroad, will add speed to the Ephwomen’s front flight. Veteran runners Laura Bothwell ’02, Heather Lindenman ’04 and Paige McClanahan ’04 are strong contenders for places among the top seven, and first-year stand-outs Jenn Campbell ’05 (sister to 2000 cross-country co-captain Tim Campbell ’01), Katie Davisson ’05, Kali Moody ’05 and Katie Marsh ’05 are well on their way to race-readiness.
Next weekend the men’s and women’s teams travel to Montreal, Quebec, to compete at the McGill Invitational and run Mont Royal in preparation for the Purple Valley Classic at the Mt. Greylock High School home course on Sept. 22.