Men’s XC Places Fourth Overall at Williams’ Purple Valley Classic

On Saturday, the Mammoths placed fourth at the Purple Valley Classic hosted by rival Williams. At the season-opening Little Three Championships, the Mammoths narrowly defeated the Ephs 27-32, but this weekend, the Ephs utilized depth to place second at their home meet. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the meet’s winner, arrived at the course ranked sixth in the country and finshed with 41 points, placing its five scoring runners in the top 16.

The course at Mt. Greylock Regional High School was new, due to construction at the high school, but still featured the same famous hills and trails. It was the Mammoths’ first race at the usual 8k distance, as the Little Three Championships had been contested over a 6k course. This Saturday’s competitive field boasted seven nationally ranked teams, setting up No. 3 Amherst for a competitive race. Clark Ricciardelli ’20E and Cosmo Brossy ’19, who worked together in the race to place seventh and eighth in the 208-person field, led the Mammoths throughout the meet. The duo ran a well-executed race, passing several runners in the latter half of the race.

Behind them, Tucker Meijer ’19 also ran a good race, placing 23rd in the field. The senior captain ran a smart first half, recognizing that the fast pace set early on would not be sustainable. Like Brossy and Ricciardelli, he also passed runners in the second half of the race for a solid finish.

Ajay Sarathy ’21 stepped up in his second race as a Mammoth to place 38th overall as the team’s fourth runner. The Mammoths’ final scoring runner was Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20, who placed 47th. Just four seconds behind the junior were Kristian Sogaard ’19 and Matthew Bradley ’22, highlighting the team’s depth. The two crossed the line in 49th and 50th place, respectively.

Beyond the top seven, sophomores Braxton Schuldt and Jamie Mazzola placed 63rd and 91st, while Majd Rouhana ’22 had a solid race to finish 123rd, just ahead of Chris Stone ’20, who took 127th. Owen Daily ’22 made his Amherst debut and placed 167th in the strong field.

This weekend, the Mammoths travel to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to compete at the Paul Short Run. The meet features competitors from all three NCAA divisions, and the Mammoths hope to compete in the Gold Race, the top section that mostly Division I schools, as they did last year.

The Gold Race only allows 10 runners to compete for each team, so the Amherst harriers who do not toe the line in the Gold Race will compete in the Open Race portion of the meet.