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MIT Wins Dartmouth Invitational; Men Continue Undefeated Season

Feldman, Nolan Lead Engineers to Victory Over Tufts and Trinity

By Yuval Mazor

TEAM MEMBER

MIT’s Men’s Cross Country team had their strongest showing of the season, competing in the Dartmouth Invitational this weekend. After two easy wins to start off the season, MIT was ranked 12th in the nation. However, MIT had yet to go against strong competition. The field at the Dartmouth Invitational pitted MIT against 26 teams including nationally ranked Tufts and Trinity.

Daniel R. Feldman ’02 went out hard in the first mile, coming through in a 4:53, and in the front of a small lead pack.

MIT’s second group of Sean Nolan ’03 and Sean J. Montgomery G started with a more conservative 5:03, and settled into the middle of the chase pack in 40th position. Five seconds behind them, MIT’s third group of Albert S. Liu ’03, Benjamin A. Schmeckpeper ’05, and Craig B. Wildman ’03 were well within striking distance.

As the race progressed, all three groups began moving on their competition. By the third mile Feldman had dropped the pack, opening up a large lead. Meanwhile, Nolan and Montgomery moved into the top ten, Liu, Schmeckpeper, and Wildman were all in the top 40, and Brian C. Anderson ’04 had started a charge of his own.

At this point, MIT had moved into good position, but was still trailing Tufts, and possibly Trinity. Knowing that it is difficult to make up ground in the last mile, MIT made a strong surge in the fourth mile to put the meet away. Feldman dropped a 4:46 mile, all but guaranteeing himself first place. Not to be outdone, Nolan ran a 4:44 to beat the field, and give MIT a 1-2 lead. Montgomery continued to run strong, moving into sixth, and the third pack surged into the top 30, with Anderson hot on their heels.

Very little changed over the last mile, as MIT’s top three finished in a very impressive 1-2-6, with both Feldman and Nolan running below 25 minutes for the five mile course. Trinity and Tufts packed most of their team between Montgomery and MIT’s next group, as Schmeckpeper and Liu finished in 25th and 26th. Brian Anderson threw in a devastating 4:57 last mile, placing him 28th, followed closely by Wildman in 31st, as the entire top 7 broke 26:15. George R. Hanson ’03 was MIT’s next runner, finishing with a solid 27:10 for 67th place.

When the scores were tallied, MIT held on for a very close 60-62 victory over Tufts, with Trinity taking third at 73.

Not to be outdone by the varsity, MIT was equally impressive in the sub-varsity race. Bates College had mistakenly raced their sub-varsity in the first race, and entered their top group in the second race.

Once again MIT had excellent group running, which led to personal records across the board. Jeffrey J. Billing G made a race-time decision to run despite having back problems all week, and went out with the leaders in a 5:12 first mile. Running just behind him were Carlos A. Renjifo ’04, Gregory P. Fonder ’05, and Ian H. Driver ’05.

As in the varsity race, MIT’s next pack of Alan R. Raphael ’02, Ian G. Bliss ’04, Yuval Mazor ’02, and Taku Iida ’04 went out in a more conservative 5:30.

Both packs used the next two miles to get into good position, before making a push in the fourth mile. Fonder led the way for the Engineers in this race, breaking up Bates’ varsity and finishing in 5th place with a 26:25, followed by Renjifo in 7th. Driver and Billing followed in 11th and 12th, and Raphael nearly shaved 2 minutes of his personal record as he finished the scoring with a 27:26 and 15th place. Bliss and Mazor rounded out the top seven, finishing in 29th and 38th respectively. Iida finished 65th in 29:25, as the entire team finished in the top third of the field.

Although 14 of MIT’s 16 runners ran personal records, there remains a great deal of work to do. The next test for MIT is the Codfish Bowl at Franklin Park, where MIT hopes to reclaim a trophy it lost to Tufts last year.