On Saturday, men’s and women’s cross country headed to Amherst to defend their Little Three titles against inclement weather, bad luck and the best efforts of Amherst and Wesleyan. Despite the distraction of a broken down bus and a late arrival, both the men and women were ultimately successful in defending their titles, marking the second straight year on the women’s side and the 22nd straight year on the men’s. In the men’s race, Williams finished with 25 points to Amherst’s 35 and Wesleyan’s 64, while the women won with a score of 37 to Amherst’s 42 and Wesleyan’s 50.
In particular, Williams has utterly dominated the men’s side, winning 36 of the last 38 Little Three titles in addition to the last 22 consecutively.
The men’s race went out fast thanks to an aggressive early pace set by Amherst’s top two runners. As the field strung out behind the leaders, the top Williams pack bided its time within striking distance.
Although the Jeffs looked to be in a strong position early on, the Ephs used good pacing to move up throughout the race and eventually win in convincing fashion. All-American Edgar Kosgey ’10 won his second individual Little Three title, cruising to the line in a time of 25:46. Kosgey was followed by Amherst’s top two runners, but after that it was all Williams, as Anthony Raduazo ’12, J. Koima ’12, All-American Jeff Perlis ’10 and co-captain Corey Watts ’10 finished fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth respectively. In addition to stellar performances from the top five, the Ephs showed great depth, placing 19 runners in front of Wesleyan’s seventh finisher and 17 runners before Amherst’s ninth finisher.
“Winning this meet all four years has been the senior class’ goal since we were freshmen,” co-captain Connor Kamm ’10 said.
The women’s race also provided its fair share of drama, as Williams used great pack running to offset strong front-runners from both Amherst and Wesleyan. Leading the way for Williams was co-captain Bret Scofield ’10, who used a blistering kick to finish fourth overall in a time of 19:15, two seconds ahead of Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12, Williams’ second finisher in sixth overall. Again showing the team’s incredible ability to work as a pack, the fifth Williams finisher, Annie Dear ’13 (10th overall), finished only nine seconds behind Scofield. Between Goldstein-Kral and Dear were Olga Kondratjeva ’10 and Ariel Williams ’10, who finished eighth and ninth overall respectively.
Scofield was very happy with her team’s performance. “It was a gritty, tough race, and we’re pleased with the result,” she said.
Next week the squad will split, signaling the beginning of championship season. The top 12 men and women will race at the NESCAC Championships in Manchester, Conn. on Sunday, while the rest of the team will compete in Friday’s Doc Seely Invitational at Mount Greylock Regional High School.