Men's Cross Country: Cross country earns impressive victory at Tufts Invite
The Jeffs scored 57 points, four less than Tufts and five less than Williams. The win on Saturday was perhaps the greatest in Coach Erik Nedeau’s career.
“The men came together today,” said Nedeau. “They beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. I think it caught everyone off guard a little.”
Michael Page ’05 had his best race of the season Saturday. Page was the team’s top finisher, placing fourth in 26:49, just ahead of John Stanton-Geddes ’04, who came in fifth overall with a time of 26:54.
The Tufts course at Grafton, the University’s agricultural extension, was not as quick as some of the previous courses this season. Times were slower than last week’s race at UMass-Dartmouth due to the increased difficulty in terrain, but the men were happy with their performances.
Matt Katz ’05 ran well, placing third on the team and 10th overall in 27:15, followed by Jack Morgan ’05 who finished 11th with a time of 27:19.
“It was my goal to run towards the front the entire race,” said Katz. “I sometimes start too far back and don’t pick up the pace until late in the race. I think for this team to perform the way we want to, we have to give everything we have through the entire race.”
Dave Molina ’05, who steadily picked off competitors throughout the entire race, finished with a time of 27:52, good for 28th place. Andy Schneider ’04 and Zeke Phillips ’05 also raced well, finishing in 37th and 41st place respectively. The men showed an incredible group effort, pulling each other up the course’s steep inclines and ultimately across the finish line.
“I’m coming back,” said Molina, who has battled injury for the past year and was recovering from the flu on Saturday.
Perhaps most noticeable to all the team members Saturday was a sense of unity and cohesiveness made clearer through their accomplishment at Tufts. The men will have to continue with their tough practices and workouts in order to maintain their newly acquired ground.
Nedeau made it clear in a post-race speech on Saturday that the men would have to continue to step up, especially in the fifth running position, if they want to remain competitive in the league.
“There’s quite a bit of competition for the varsity squad this year,” said Carson Taylor ’03. “I feel our team, if we remain injury free, will only get better in the next few weeks.”
This week the men’s mileage in training will increase once again. They will not race this coming weekend but will prepare for their next meet, Open New Englands on Oct. 11. The men hope to improve upon last year’s 19th place performance. The following weekend they will travel to nearby Westfield College for the Westfield Invitational.