Defending a 22-year winning streak, men’s cross country raced at the Little Three Championship last Saturday. The 8k course at Wesleyan is known for a particularly challenging hill that runners must face twice toward the end of race. This did not preclude several stellar performances that propelled the Ephs to victory. Williams won handily with 35 points, over host Wesleyan’s 42 points and archrival Amherst’s 54.
Outrun by meet champion Will Yochum of Amherst by only three seconds, leading Williams runner Josephat Koima ’12 guided the Ephs to success with a 25:54 performance, landing him in second place overall.
“Sometimes races go according to plan, but others have surprises,” Head Coach Pete Farwell said. “This was one where … it became a dogfight for the win. Our guys dug deep and accomplished the mission.”
Wade Davis ’13 also made a significant contribution to the team as the Ephs’ second runner, placing sixth overall with a 26:19 effort.
Anthony Raduazo ’12 crossed the finish line one place and four seconds behind teammate Davis at 26:23. Raduazo has suffered from injuries for the earlier part of the season but, considering his recent performance, appears to be recovering well.
Not far behind, Mark Springel ’12 was the fourth Eph of the day to cross the finish line, running 26:32 for a ninth place finish.
Tri-captain Andrew Gaidus ’11 finished in 26:37, good enough for fifth place on the team and 11th overall.
Jack Fitzhenry ’12 and Ford Smith ’12 rounded out Williams’ top seven. Smith’s 26:43 result represented a 47-second improvement over his last personal best, the latest in a series of exceptional improvements seen this season.
Also notable were the performances of the next five Ephs, who included Henry Koster ’14, tri-captain Dan Franck ’11, tri-captain Jason Rapaport ’11, Chris Cogswell ’14 and Tommy Gaidus ’13. In upcoming meets, Farwell will be looking to these runners to provide support to the seven-man varsity team in case of injury or sickness.
“We try not to put pressure on ourselves, but [a streak of success like this] can sometimes evoke some,” Farwell said. “We hoped to have a good training week, which we did, and be able to gain victory without maxing out our effort, which I think we also did.”
The men will compete in the NESCAC Championship on Saturday at Hamilton. The team will then continue the postseason at the ECAC Championship meet, which will be held at Colt State Park in Rhode Island on Nov. 6.
“We’re fitting all the pieces together, trying to have everybody healthy,” Farwell said. “We’ve done the work, have the talent and know how to race. It will be a very close conference meet … We’ll need to bring our fourth and fifth scorers in before anyone else’s, and even have our sixth and seventh men displace other teams’ scorers [in order to win].”