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Engineers Outpace Tufts to Take First

By Chris McGuire
Team Member

The MIT mens cross country team travelled to Tufts Veterinary School to take on Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts at Boston Saturday. UMass Boston was not much of a force in the meet, as their first runner could not even break into the top twenty finishers. The Engineers, who previously beat Tufts in an early season meet, and then lost to them at all New England's, looked to earn some respect.

Team captain Mike Parkins '99 said, "We knew going into the race that we could beat Tufts, so we went out and beat them."

The five mile course through agricultural fields consisted of several major hills. One of the hills was so steep that it brought runners to almost a pedestrian pace. The 70F (24C) weather also took its toll on the runners.

Tufts started the race well in front of MIT, with three Tufts runners well ahead of the Engineers lead pack through the first mile. Tufts second group was also ahead of MIT's second group. This was a very unusual start for an MIT squad used to dominating races. However, with four more miles remaining, the runners had plenty of time to make their move.

The lead Tufts runners paid the price for their quick first mile by the three mile mark. At this point the Engineers began to make their move. The lead group of Parkins, Mark Strauss '01, and freshman sensation Dan Feldman '02 began to move through the Tufts pack. The second group of MIT runners, consisting of Sean Montgomery '01, Phil Loiselle '01, and Chris McGuire '00, also responded.

MIT finished the race with Parkins in second, Feldman, Montgomery, and Strauss, came in four five and six, respectively. Loiselle rounded out the scoring with a ninth place finish. Montgomery had an astonishing last half mile, passing four runners on his way to his highest finish ever on the team.

Next week the Beavers travel to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference championships. MIT hopes to avenge their loss to Coast Guard in last season's championships.