Men's X-C Runners Finish In 10thBy Josh Feldman
The men's cross country team headed to Franklin Park on Friday for what had the potential to be their toughest meet of the year at the All New England Championships. Facing 30 teams, 13 of which were from Division I, MIT ended up with a respectable 10th place finish.
The team lost to only two Division III schools - Williams and Tufts - who are both ranked in the top 10 in the country. After Friday's performance, MIT's position in the polls is to sure to improve, where they are currently ranked 22nd in the nation.
The conditions for the race were nearly ideal, and led to a lot of fast times. Fifteen of the seventeen MIT runners who finished the eight kilometer race ended up with their best performances of the season.
The varsity squad ran in the first race of the day and got off to a poor start. Unprepared for the fast start, the team quickly fell behind and had a lot of catching up to do. The Engineers, however, quickly rebounded from their poor first mile.
Arnold Seto G and Mike Parkins '99 started to move up in the main pack. Parkins began to surge at the three-mile mark and finished with a personal best of 25:24.
Parkins and Seto were closely followed by the pack of Josh Feldman '97, Leif Seed '99, and Chris McGuire '00, who stayed together for almost the entire race. This pack worked well together, as they appeared to get stronger with each mile. By the time the race ended, all three had passed over 60 runners each.
MIT had five runners finish in under 26 minutes, beating Division I powers Northeastern University, University of Connecticut, and College of the Holy Cross in the process.
Watching the varsity team in action gave confidence to the junior varsity squad, who also ran well on Friday. The team placed eighth out of 17 schools, and ran some very good times in the process.
Gabe White '00 led all MIT runners with an excellent time of 26:39. Frank Johnston '00 and Sohail Husain '98 followed closely behind for the Engineers. In addition, Gerry Corona '97 and Ray Molnar '00 both met their season goals at this meet.
While MIT had its best meet of the season, the team still has a lot of work to do in order to qualify for nationals. The Engineers need to beat archrival Tufts University (who finished one place ahead of MIT on Friday) to qualify for the National Championship Meet at Augustana College in Illinois.
The Engineers' next meet is Saturday at Franklin Park, where they will defend the Constitution Athletic Conference Championship trophy.