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Men's cross country team falls to Tufts University

By Dermot J. Peterson

On Saturday the Tufts University Jumbos made the trip back to Kendall a long one for the men's cross country team. The Fellsway in nearby Stoneham witnessed an inferior outing by the harriers. The dual meet served as the final tune-up before the All-New England Cross Country meet this Friday at Franklin Park in Roxbury.

Tufts, ranked fourth in last week's New England poll, put runners in the win, place and show slots. The Tufts trio of Swift, Keane and Rich crossed the finish line just a few steps ahead of MIT's Jim Garcia G. Tufts followed with an impressive 5-6 combination to finish with 17 points to MIT's 44. Cool, breezy conditions over the muddy course contributed to a slow winning time of 26:38 over the five mile route. In cross country, however, times are irrelevant and place is everything.

MIT started aggressively as Dave Afshartous G and Jon Gladstone '92 led through the first half-mile. Afshartous soon fell prey to his chronic shin splints, and fell off the pace. Gladstone followed, and finished in the back of the pack. National class runner Sean Kelley '90 finished seventh. He was somewhat disturbed with his finish, but anticipated a stronger finish at the national qualifying meet three weeks from now.

Other Beaver scorers included Nathan Getrich '91, Ted Manning G, James Williams '91, 1500-meter All-American Mike Piepergerdes '92, and Gladstone finishing in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th positions.

The 27-point loss can easily be overlooked with an improved performance at the New Englands and the National Qualifiers. These meets provide the test for which all teams practice from the beginning of the season. Afshartous commented, "It would have been great to win this meet. Although it was a humbling blow, maybe it will do us some good in the long run." In cross country, the long run is all that matters.

(Dermot Peterson G is a member of the men's cross country team.)