Last Saturday, men’s cross country competed in the Purple Valley Invitational, held at the team’s home course at Mount Greylock Regional High School. The men took second in the varsity 8k and nabbed first in the junior varsity 5k.
24 teams traveled to Williamstown to partake in the Purple Valley Classic on Saturday, hailing from all around the Northeast. This included several nationally ranked squads including MIT (eighth), Colby (17th), Amherst (21st), Middlebury (29th) and Tufts (30th). The men entered the invitational ranked the sixth best cross country team in the nation and first in the New England Region. Temperatures were near 80 degrees throughout the day, which made for tough racing conditions.
In the 8k, the men earned a team score of 63 points, finishing close behind first-place Colby, who had a score of 55 points. Colin Cotton ’17 was the first runner to cross the finish line for the Ephs, earning second place overall with a time of 25:45.2. After Cotton was Bijan Mazaheri ’16, who finished third overall in a time of 26:15.5. Cole Townsend ’15 ran a time of 26:43.3 for 13th place, while Noah Williams ’17 finished in 26:56.3, placing 20th. The last scorer for the Ephs was tri-captain Andrew Beaudoin ’15, who took 25th place with a time of 27:07.1. Other notable finishers for the Ephs included Nigel Bates ’17 who ran a time of 27:19.7, good for 36th place, and tri-captain Daniel Siegel ’15, who finished close behind in 37th place with a time of 27:20.1.
In the 5k, Ben Decker ’18 won the race in a time of 16:30.0, while Liam Simpson ’18 finished close behind with a time of 16:42.7 for second place. Griffin Colaizzi ’18 was the next Eph to cross the line in a time of 16:57.4 to earn fourth place. Alex Kilman ’18 finished seventh in a time of 17:06.1, and Andrew Bloniarz ’18 took ninth in 17:12.3. Michael Byrns ’18 was sixth for the Ephs and 10th overall with a time of 17:19.5, and Jahangir Habib ’18 finished in 17:51.0, good for 21st place.
“We ran smart and under control, which I think is the right way to do it this early in the season,” Siegel said. “I’m confident that we’ll look even sharper as the season progresses.
The men compete at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University this Saturday, where a top group of runners will face off against some of the best teams in the country.