X-country places 1st at NESCACs

No bear? No shoe? No problem. Despite missing its traditional mascot, T Bear, and despite one Williams runner losing his shoe in the first 400 meters of the race, men’s cross country still managed to win its 11th NESCAC championship this past weekend. The women’s team also had a strong performance and was able to tie Middlebury for the first place trophy. Hosted by Bates, and run at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine, the race featured the top 12 runners from each team in the NESCAC conference, including some tough competitors such as Trinity, Middlebury and Amherst.

It was the second weekend in a row in which the men’s team was forced to run without their customary pre-race toss of T-Bear, after it was kidnapped by the Tufts team on the eve of the Little Three meet. Since that time the men’s team has been informed that the bear had been stolen from Tufts by the Wesleyan team, and sources confirm that Wesleyan members were seen carrying the beloved stuffed bear at Bates. In spite of this distraction, the men were able to stay focused and run an impressive 8k. The Ephs took five of the first 17 spots, with all five harriers finishing within 45 seconds of each other. Edgar Kosgey ’10 lead the way, taking second place overall with a time of 25:42. Jeff Perlis ’10, captain Brendan Christian ’09, Anthony Raduazo ’12 and Corey Watts ’10 were the other top finishers. The Ephs’ utter dominance gave them a total score of 44, beating second place finisher Trinity by over 40 points.

“The men have continued to improve,” Head Coach Peter Farwell said. “We looked more dominant in the score than we were, but we have continually come out ahead which is indicative of the talent of the team. The team’s also packing up really well, and we’ll really strong group going into regionals.”

Equally impressive was the effort put forth by the Williams women in the 6k race. Led once again by captain Lauren Philbrook ’09, the top five Williams women finished within just 17 seconds of each other. Philbrook finished fifth overall with a time of 22:30, followed by Mary Brunelli ’12, Bret Scofield ’10, Meghan Shea ’11 and Gillian Tedeschi ’09. The women finished with only 48 points, but matching their performance were the Middlebury women, who also placed their top five runners in the top-15.

“This time we raced a little different pace strategy than we usually do, which looked like it was dominating but was maybe a little too quick for a few runners,” Farwell said. “Then, we kicked in and came up with a tie. We were very pleased to get back up on top, especially against tough teams like Amherst and Middlebury. This is probably our deepest team down to 14 or 15 runners than we’ve ever had.”

Next weekend both men’s and women’s cross country will look to continue their success as they compete at the ECAC championships at Colt State Park in Bristol, Rhode Island. As he has done in past years, Farwell will have the “second seven” varsity runners race in order to give the first seven runners a rest before competing in Div. III New England’s on Nov. 15.

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