Men’s cross country traveled north of the border last weekend to run at the McGill Invitational. As the only team from the United States, Williams faced challengers from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. This 6k race was shorter than the usual distance at which the Ephs compete, but still proved an adequate test to the athletes’ fitness.
The host, McGill, took home the victory over Williams by a narrow margin of 34-30. Each team placed four runners in the top 10. Santiago Bessai of McGill was the individual champion in 20:01, followed closely by two Ephs: Peter Hale ’17 in 20:02 and Griffin Colaizzi ’18 in 20:04.
Hale, Colaizzi and Ben Decker ’18 worked together throughout the race to push each other toward the leaders. After a conservative start, the men gradually moved up as a group and took turns leading each other forward, reflecting the strong teamwork that is emblematic of the squad. Decker ran 20:21 to finish in eighth place.
Right behind this first group, four more Williams runners crossed the line within four seconds of each other. Noah Williams ’17 took 10th place in 20:28 directly followed by Austin Anderson ’19 in 20:29. Then, Luke Hinz ’17 edged out Kyle Kistinger ’16 at the line to take 13th place. Both athletes finished in 20:32 to round out the Ephs’ top seven.
The next Williams finisher was Liam Simpson ’18, who placed 18th in 20:49. Zeke Cohen ’19 took 21st in 20:51 and Lucas Estrada ’19 was 26th in 21:01. Walker Knauss ’19 (29th, 21:03), captain Todd Ford ’16 (30th , 21:04) and co-captain Matt Tarduno ’16 (32nd, 21:08) were the Ephs’ remaining top-50 performers.
“We had a great weekend in Montreal, racing against only Canadian teams. [Head Coach] Peter Farwell likes this meet because it allows us to see non-NESCAC, New England competition and race without any preconceived notions about which competitors we should be finishing near,” Ford said. “The first-years looked excellent, running relaxed and hard. Our race plan was to go out relaxed and then try to negative split by picking up the pace over the second half of the course. Most guys executed this perfectly. We’re looking forward to our intra-squad meet, Coed Relays, this Friday and then our first home meet, The Purple Valley Classic, on Sept. 26.”
As previously stated, the men return to action when they host the signature Purple Valley Classic on Sept. 26.