Men’s cross country finished second overall in its first meet of the season last Saturday. The team competed in the RPI Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and had several strong performances, finishing just 14 points behind first-place St. Lawrence.
Colin Cotton ’17 was both first for the Ephs and first overall, winning the 6k race in a course-record time of 18:46. Bijan Mazaheri ’16 earned third place, running a time of 19:01. Next for the Ephs was Cole Townsend ’15, finishing in 19:09 for 13th place overall. The fourth finisher for the men was Noah Williams ’17, who was 17th with a time of 19:23. Close behind was the pack of tri-captain Aldis Inde ’15, with a time of 19:25; Ben Decker ’18, who also finished in 19:25; Nigel Bates ’17, who crossed the line in 19:26 and Luke Hinz ’17, who ran a 19:28. The four earned 19th through 22nd places.
Another pack of Eph runners was not far off, with Kyle Kistinger ’16 finishing in 19:44, Justin Sardo ’18 in 19:49 and Alex Kilman ’18 in 19:52. Close behind were tri-captain Andrew Beaudoin ’15, with a time of 19:56, and Todd Ford ’16, with a time of 19:58.
“The first meet is always kind of a rust-buster, kind of a transition from the base period of our summer where they’re doing more mileage to integrating more speed, so that transition is a little bit difficult,” Assistant Coach Colin Young said. “We’re not focused on Saturday, we’re focused on November, but in general, it was a great team effort with a few strong packs and some surprises, especially from the sophomores. It was a nice positive step forward, and we’ll keep it going until Purple Valley.”
The men next race on Sept. 27 at the Purple Valley Classic, hosted at the Ephs’ home course at Mt. Greylock Regional High School.
“Cross country is a training sport, you have to focus on the end of the season and you can’t compete at your best each race, but it was a good opener,” Young said.