Men’s XC races to Nationals

After amazing performances on Nov. 9 at the ECACs, men’s cross country continued its winning streak by capturing the Div. III New England title last Saturday and punching a ticket to Nationals. The men won with a score of 77, edging Middlebury by just one point. It was the first title for Williams since 2011, when they also defeated Middlebury by a single point. The race was held at Southern Maine, and the weather was perfect for a great day of racing.

Colin Cotton ’17 and Michael LeDuc of Conn. College were the leaders of the race. LeDuc made a push in the final two miles, leaving behind the entire pack of runners with the exception of Cotton. LeDuc placed first in 24:21, and Cotton placed second in 24:24. Tri-captain Chris Lee ’14 was not far behind, placing third in 24:41.

Next across the finish line for the Ephs was Bijan Mazaheri ’16, who ran a personal record of 25:01 and placed 14th. Aldis Inde ’15 placed 22nd in a time of 25:17, followed by tri-captain Max LaBerge ’14 running in a time of 25:32, which earned him 36th place. The sixth man for Williams was tri-captain Peter Drews ’14. Drews placed 45th in a time of 25:52. He was followed by Peter Hale ’17 in 57th with a time of 26:00.

Cotton, Lee, Mazaheri and Inde were named to the All-Region team for their performances.

Head Coach Pete Farwell ’73 is excited for the team to compete on the national stage in Hanover, Ind., this weekend.

“The men competed well within the talented New England region, and we’re delighted to capture the title,” Farwell said. “We hoped to conserve energy a bit leading into Nationals, and I guess we couldn’t have conserved any more as it was the narrowest of margins over Middlebury.

“Our guys are improving every week, and we plan on one more ‘kick’ to the finish Saturday at the NCAA final,” Farwell said. “It was a real joy to watch our top four guys all score so low and make All-Region, plus our next three are excellent runners in their own right and have competed hard for us every race they’ve been in this entire season.”

The team will compete at Div. III NCAA Nationals on Saturday. With the conclusion of that meet, the men will graduate 13 seniors, including Lee, LaBerge and Drews.