Men's Cross Country Finishes Behind Tufts To Take Second at MeetBy David S. Kelman
Racing spikes churned in the topsoil Saturday as the men's cross country team took on nationally ranked teams from Tufts University and Bates College. The Engineers triumphed over Bates but fell short in their battle against traditional local rival Tufts, who sported a particularly solid top five.
After the dust settled, the final statistics left Tufts with 31 points, MIT with 44, and Bates with 55. The newly created five-mile racecourse, located at Tufts' Veterinary School 45 minutes west of Boston, is a pointedly hilly, undulating creation that accounted for uncharacteristically slow times posted by all competitors.
Harrier strongman Mike Parkins '99 led the Engineer charge with a second place 27:11 finish on the heels of Bates' top man. Chris McGuire '00 followed shortly, placing fifth, followed by Mark Strauss '01.
Rich Rosalez '98 came in twelfth less than a minute later. Sohail Husain '98 turned in a nineteenth place finish, for the Engineers' final scoring place, after fighting a bitter two-front war against a trio of Bates athletes and a trio of Tufts competitors.
Frank Johnston '00 and Phil Loiselle '01 rounded out MIT's varsity top seven, placing 21st and 22nd respectively. Meanwhile, Liyan Guo '01 led the Engineers' junior varsity, followed closely by continually strengthening sophomore Ray Molnar '00.
The Engineers are coached by Dick MacKenzie. The Engineers clearly reaffirmed their status as one of the elite cross country teams in New England, defeating a strong Bates squad in the process.
MIT showed strength and resolve on Tufts' monster racecourse, but they failed to crack enough people into Tufts' solid top five to take them down.
Fortunately, MIT will clash with Tufts several more times this season, most likely culminating with November's NCAA championships, which MIT is hosting at Franklin Park.
This weekend, the Harriers travel to upstate New York for the competition loaded Cortland Invitational.