Cross Country Finishes Regular Season on a High Note, Notching Strong Race

The Mammoths completed their regular season with some very impressive results at the Connecticut College Invitational in Waterford, Conn. These results are promising for when both the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams will be competing in the NESCAC championships in two weeks.

After two weeks of no competition, the Mammoths were back in action this past Saturday competing in the Connecticut College Invitational at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Conn. Runners were divided and placed into four separate racing groups: Women 6000 White, Women 6000 Blue, Men 8000 White and Men 8000 Blue. Overall, the Mammoths performed outstandingly, with two out of the four teams placing in the top six overall for their racing group.

The Women 6000 White group had 135 total runners from 15 schools competing, but only two Mammoths — Margo Pederson ’25 and Mia Rahn ’23. Pederson and Rahn finished within three seconds of each other, with Pederson finishing in 51st place with a time of 26:05.3 and Rahn finishing in 53rd place with a time of 26:08.40.

The Women 6000 Blue group was the larger of the two women’s groups, having 196 total runners from 26 schools running in the race. Despite a larger pool of competitors, Amherst managed to place sixth out of the 26 competing teams. Sidnie Kulik ’25 was the top finisher for Amherst, with her time of 22:09.3 putting her in eighth place. Following close behind was Mary Kate McGranahan ’23, who finished in 11th place with a time of 22:17.7. Julia Schor ’25 finished in 34th place with a time of 23:06.6,  and Sophia Price ’25 was only a half a minute behind at 23:37.00, good for 52nd place. Two other Mammoths in this group finished within 30 seconds of each other, with Claire Callon ’25 and Eline Laurent ’22 notching times of 24:01.3 and 24:32.0 and 74th and 97th place finishes respectively. Maggie Drew ’22 rounded out the scoresheet for Amherst, finishing in 138th place with a time of 25:35.4. Overall, the Mammoths’ average time was an impressive 23:02, only one second behind Middlebury’s average time.

McGranahan said about the race: “It was a tough day on the course weather wise. It was really hot and a slight adjustment coming back from Fall Break, in addition to it being only the second six k.m. for a lot of people, so [I’m] really proud of the way the team fought through it for a decent finish. We ran well against a lot of teams that we’ll see again at NESCACs and regionals, as well as [this Connecticut course] being the same course we run regionals on, so this was a good jumping off point for the more competitive postseason ... I think we’re just hoping to improve off of it the next time we face those teams. The freshmen continue to bring a lot of good energy to every meet and are only getting better as they gain racing experience.”

Moving on to the Men’s groups, the Men’s 8000 White group had a total of 208 runners from 19 schools running. Just like the Women 6000 Blue group, the Amherst men finished in sixth place. Spencer Davis ’22 was the first Mammoth to cross the finish line in this group, finishing in 25th place with a time of 26:59.3. Alex Rich ’25 finished in 40th with a time of 27:22.6, closely followed by Ben Callon ’25 (27:26.5), Braedon Fiume ’24 (27:38.5) and Daniel Martin ’25 (27:40.3). Luke Munch ’25 finished in 77th place with a time of 28:03.9, and Fritz Lalley ’25 and Bobby Innes-Gold ’22 finished in the faster half of runners with times of 28:15.7 and 29:37.7 respectively. Overall, the runners competing in the Men’s 8000 White group for Amherst finished with an average time of 27:25.

Six Mammoths competed in the Men 8000 Blue group, with the team finishing in 11th place among 26 schools racing,  Out of the 186 competitors in this group, Owen Daily ’23 was the first Mammoth runner to cross the finish line, finishing in 34th place with a time of 25:48.5. Keon Mazdisnian ’23 finished within a minute of Daily, being the next Mammoth to cross the line with a time of 25:59.7. Theo Dassin ’25, Ajay Sarathy ’22 and Nick Edwards-Levin ’25 finished with respective times of 26:27.8, 26:39.5 and 26:56.8. Billy Massey ’22 was the final Mammoth to finish the race with a time of 27:01.9. The team’s average time was 26.22.

This meet marked the completion of the regular season for the Amherst Cross Country teams. With the NCAA regionals taking place at the same course as Saturday’s race, many runners feel confident going in. Laurent states: “It is a beautiful course that is made for the type of training we have been doing, so we are expecting great things looking ahead to NESCACS and Regionals.” The postseason begins with NESCAC Championships on Halloween (Oct. 31) at 11:00a.m. at Wickham Park in Manchester, Conn.