Cross Country Competes, McGranahan Victorious at NESCACs

At this year’s NESCAC Championships, the men’s cross country team placed seventh, while the women, led by individual champion Mary Kate McGranahan ’23, placed second.

Cross Country Competes, McGranahan Victorious at NESCACs
Mary Kate McGranahan '23 finished first in the individual portion of the cross country NESCAC championship this past weekend, becoming the ninth Amherst runner to win the honors. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the men’s and women’s cross country teams took the course at the NESCAC Championships hosted by Hamilton in Clinton, New York. While the men placed seventh, the women’s team found more success, with Mary Kate McGranahan ’23 winning the NESCAC individual championship and the team notching a second place finish.


McGranahan completed the 6-km course in just over 21 minutes, with her time of 21:15.3 more than 15 seconds faster than the runner-up from Williams. The race marked her fourth individual win of the season, and made her the ninth Mammoth to win the NESCAC individual championship — the first since 2017. It also earned her a place on this year’s All-NESCAC First Team. For her performances all season, she was named the 2022 NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer, becoming the eighth Mammoth to garner the honor.

“It was kind of surreal,” McGranahan said of her individual victory. “I immediately started looking back and looking for everyone else [who was running] because I knew we had a really good shot as a team, too.”

McGranahan is staying grounded, though, remaining fully aware that there are still races to be run. “The season is not over yet, [so] I’m trying not to get too caught up in it,” she said.

Backing up McGranahan’s stellar performance, Sophie Wolmer ’23, Allison Lounsbury ’26, and Julia Schor ’25 all placed in the top 15 and earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors. Wolmer and Lounsbury crossed the line only a second apart, placing ninth and 10th with times of 22:05.6 and 22:06.6, respectively. Schor was only six seconds behind the pair, with her time of 22:12.5 bagging her a 14th place finish. Daphne Theiler ’26 was the final Mammoth scorer, with a collegiate-best time of 22:25.4, good for 17th place, wrapping up the team’s second-place finish. It was the team’s best finish since 2007, and it was a complete team effort: in total, nine Mammoth runners placed in the top 50.

The team is currently ranked 13th in the nation and second in the region by the USTFCCCA in their latest Division III poll, and the team’s strong performance at NESCACs has them well positioned to make their second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance this season. They will look to assure themselves of a bid at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships at St. Lawrence University (Canton, New York) on Saturday, Nov. 12. The winning team at that meet will be awarded with an automatic berth in the NCAA National Championships.


On the men’s side, the Mammoths ran good races across the board, despite the team’s performance not being immediately obvious on the scorecard. Theo Dassin ’24 paced the team with an 18th place finish, completing the 8-km course in 24:48.0. He averaged just under a five-minute mile throughout the race on the way to a collegiate-best time.

The rest of the Mammoths’ scorecard was rounded out by first-years, with all four crossing the line in the top 50. Henry Dennen ’26 was the next Mammoth to finish, crossing 28th in 25:10.8 in his NESCAC Championship debut. Thomas Stephens ’26 was next, posting his best time of the season by finishing in 25:28.1 to earn 37th place. George Cahill ’26 was close behind, also setting a season-best at 25:31.4 and placing 39th. Aidan Gemme ’26 was the final scoring Mammoth, recording a season-best time of 25:46.2 to take 50th place.

The Mammoths are ranked fifth in the Mideast Region in the latest USTFCCCA Division III poll. Like the women’s team, the men will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships at St. Lawrence University. And, like for the women’s race, the winning team will earn a berth at this year’s NCAA National Championships.