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Runners Blaze Past Saturday Opponents, Remain Undefeated

By Arnold Seto
Team Member

The men's cross country team extended its undefeated record to 50 with a victory Saturday against Tufts University, Bates College, and Bentley College. MIT won decisively against all three opponents, scoring 25 points to Tufts's 54, Bates's 71, and Bentley's 81.

The race was held at the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, Mass., right after Friday's torrential downpour. The conditions were classic for New England cross country, with high humidity, muddy trails, and tough hills.

The highlights of the course were the ponds left on the trail, the largest of which was 20 feet long and 1 foot deep. However, none of these factors could stop the Engineers.

Ethan Crain '95 and Jesse Darley '95 once again lead the team to victory. Together they took the lead early on and never relinquished it, taking the top two places. Crain finished the 5-mile course in 26 minutes 10 seconds, with Darley close behind at 26:16.

For the rest of the team, the race was an exercise in running in groups and executing tactical plans. Arnold Seto '96, Dan Helgesen '97, Karl Munkelwitz '95, and Josh Feldman '97 ran together for most of the race and finished sixth, seventh, ninth, and 11th respectively. Their conservative start enabled them to sweep past slower runners with ease.

This scenario was repeated by the rest of the Engineers as well. Eric Nicholson '98 led the next group, finishing in 28:35.

Overall, the team is improving steadily. As Coach Halston Taylor has told the team, "I am convinced that our dramatic improvement is due to our mileage." The team members run an average of 60 miles a week, with the top men running 90 miles or more a week.

The next race will be this Saturday's Lemoyne Invitational in Syracuse, N.Y. This will be a true test of the team's strength, with New England rival Williams College and the New York powerhouses Rochester Institute of Technology and Albany State all expected to participate.