X-country leads the pack at Purple Valley Classic

Last weekend men and women’s cross country competed at their first home meet of the season, the Purple Valley Classic. In past seasons the Purple Valley Classic has typically been a low-key invitational, attracting limited competition. This year, however, the Div. III New England NCAA Regional Championship will be held at Mt. Greylock High School, Williams’ home course, and thus the Purple Valley Classic drew a higher class of competition and was run with more intensity than is usually seen this early in the season.

The meet kicked off with a coed 5k race, which included all the first-year members of the teams, a few upperclassmen and several returning alumni. Although heavy rains had been predicted, the weather held and conditions were warm and humid at race time.

The first-years on both the men’s and women’s teams showed their potential. Anthony Raduazo ’12 won the race in a time of 16:25 and Mark Springel ’12 finished second in a time of 16:54. The men had six of the top-10 finishers and took first place with a 40-point win over second place finisher Keene State.

The women also showed promise, particularly Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12, who finished first in the women’s field in a time of 20:13. Kral’s victory in addition to a few other strong performances helped the women’s JV capture first place in the 5k.

After the 5k race finished, the varsity men took to the course for the 8k race. Four of the top five ranked teams in Div. III New England (Williams, Keene State, Amherst and Coast Guard) were present, and were eager to show they could compete at a high level from the get-go.

The Williams harriers, however, could not be beat. The men dominated the field of 17 teams; five of the top 12 finishers wore the purple and gold, including the overall champion, Edgar Kosgey ’10, who finished in a time of 25:48. Captain Brendan Christian ’09, Jeff Perlis ’10, Mackin Chaffee ’09 and Brian Cole ’11 were the other top finishers for the first-place Ephs.

Finishing out the day, the women’s varsity 6k race found, for the third time in as many races, Williams placing notably well. Four women finished in the top-10 and captain Lauren Philbrook ’09 took first place. The women scored just 38 points, easily beating runner-up Middlebury who finished with 66 points. Bret Scofield ’10, Jess Clarke ’10, Mary Brunelli ’12 and Meghan Shea ’11 were the other top-10 finishers for the women.

After this impressive performance, the Ephs now look ahead to Oct. 11 when they will compete in the Div. I New England Championships at Franklin Park.