Cross Country Heats Up in Little 3 Championship

The women’s and men’s cross country teams competed in the Little 3 Championship in Williamstown, MA on Sept. 18. Facing bitter rivals Wesleyan and Williams, both teams managed impressive performances.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Little 3 Championship in Williamstown, MA alongside Wesleyan and Williams.

On the men’s side, a total of 49 athletes across all three schools competed in a six kilometer race. As a team, Amherst finished second out of the three competitors, clocking in with  an average time of 20:41, just under 40 seconds behind Williams who took first place.

Individually, the fastest runner for the Mammoths was Owen Daily ’23 posting a time of 20:17.9 to capture sixth place in the event. Rounding out the top ten for the Mammoths was Keon Mazdisnian ’23 and Nick Edwards-Levin ’25 in 10th with times of 20:30.1 and 20:39.4, respectively. Just outside the top 10 and rounding out Amherst’s top seven runners were Theo Dassin ’24 in 12th (20:48.2), fellow sophomore Oliver Spiva ’24 in 18th (21:10.8), seniors Ajay Sarathy ’22 in 21st (21.23.3) and Bobby Innes-Gold ’22 in 25th (21.33.4).

Innes-Gold described how the Mammoths fought hard to improve from their Little 3 results two years ago: “It was exciting for us to get the chance to race against NESCAC competition again. On the men’s side, we did improve a bit on our performance at the Little 3’s two years ago despite injuries and off days from some of our top guys. The Williams course is very difficult and hilly, but everyone fought hard. Owen and Keon led the team off strong in the race, while underclassmen Nick and Theo also had great races. We’re excited to see what the team is capable of as we move up to the 8k for our remaining races.”

Spencer Davis ’22, who finished in 22nd place, spoke on the race as well: “The Williams XC [cross country] course is known to be quite challenging, and this held true this year despite some modifications to the route. Amherst’s runners were able to pack up quite well and work together throughout the race. Hopefully we can do this again at our next race in two weeks.”

On the women’s side, a total of 41 athletes competed in a four-kilometer race. As a team, Amherst finished second out of the three competitors, with an average time of 16:20, just three seconds behind Williams.

Sidnie Kulik ’25 and Mary Kate McGranahan ’23 stood out as the first and second place finishers for the race respectively, with the first-year averaging a 6:19.7 mile to finish the 4000 meter with a time of 15:43.0 and the junior just behind with a time of 16:01.1. Sophia Price ’25 and Julia Schor ’25 took back-to-back spots in 10th and 11th, respectively Price finishing with a time of 16:27.9, and Schor three seconds after at 16:30.9.

Rounding out the scoring for the Mammoths were Eline Laurent ’22 finishing in 16th, Claire Callon ’25 finishing in 22nd, and Maggie Drew ’22 coming in 26th with times of 16.58.1, 17.15.9 and 17.30.9 respectively. Laurent emphasized the hard work that the runners put in over the summer, and how that paid off during the race. “It was a difficult and gritty race (and course with all the hills) but everyone really fought hard and moved up in the race. We really put the work in this summer and that determination has continued into the early season … The energy has been unmatched this season and I think people will be seeing big things from the cross country teams,” Laurent said.

Annika Paylor ’24, despite her 37th place finish due to tripping and falling during the portion of the race that was in the woods, said that “the race atmosphere was very supportive [with] lots of good energy from the other teams and parents … The hills definitely made it more difficult; the terrain was also [a] bit unstable in the woods and the sharp turns definitely made it more difficult.” However, Paylor said that the race was “overall a fun experience.”

The Mammoths will return on Oct. 1st, for the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University.