The long trek past the Canadian border and into Montreal to compete in the McGill Invitational last Saturday proved to be worth the trip for men’s cross country. The men came out in first in a close, barnburner race while facing some of Eastern Canada’s best talent.
The men ran a tactical race over the up-and-down 6k course, which featured some challenging footing. “We got out well, but not too fast and moved up on the second of three laps to get in contention with the leading team, Laval University, and then made a push in the third and final lap to catch their men and kick with them,” Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 said.
First in for Williams and sixth overall was All-American and tri-captain Chris Lee ’14, who finished the race in 19:12. Close behind Lee was Peter Hale ’17 in seventh in 19:12, Bijan Mazaheri ’16 in ninth in 19:17 and Aldis Inde ’15 in 11th in 19:19. Fifth for the Ephs was David Folsom ’17, whose performance made a huge impact on the scoring for the meet. Both Williams and Laval scored 43 points. However, according to the Canadian rules, whichever team has the fastest five men cross the finish line first wins, giving the Ephs a decisive victory.
“While the result sounds really close, I was thrilled with our depth,” tri-captain Peter Drews ’14 said. “We had 13 runners finish before Laval’s seventh [runner finished].”
Also in the top seven for the men were Todd Ford ’15, who placed 22nd in 19:48, and Cole Townsend ’15, who placed 27th in 20:01. “We are excited about how many of our 32 racers packed up in groups of four or five, passed runners throughout and had speedy finishing sprints,” Farwell said.
The Ephs had six other men finish within a minute of Lee’s fast 19:12. Andrew Beaudoin ’15 took 31st with a time of 20:04. Daniel Siegel ’15 followed him in 33rd in 20:06, with Drews coming in next at 34th in 20:06. Noah Williams ’17, Hiroshi Kirby ’17 and Matt Tarduno ’16 rounded out the men’s top finishes, taking 35th in 20:09, 36th in 20:10 and 37th in 20:10, respectively.
“I was really pumped about the way we worked together,” Lee said. “We packed up really well, working as a group up the hills so that the competition would see two or three Ephs pass them at a time.”
Placing first in a field of 23 teams is a great accomplishment for the Ephs, especially for their first invitational of the season. The Ephs will not compete this week. Instead they will be preparing for the Purple Valley Classic on Sept. 28, a race on home soil that the men hope will end in victory. Some of the teams that will compete in the Purple Valley Classic include rival Amherst, Middlebury and MIT.