Men’s Cross Country Places Second to JumbosBy Sergio M. Navarro
The men’s cross country team finished second out of 27 schools in last Saturday’s James Early Invitational meet at Westfield State. The Jumbos of Tufts University outlasted MIT in the disappointing race, as they captured the meet title by a score of 72 to MIT’s 85. The loss of freshman star Steven K. Maltas ’06 to a back injury proved to be a key factor in the MIT defeat.
In the perfect weather, Captain Sean P. Nolan ’03 led the way for the Beavers, claiming second place with a time of 25:16 for the five-mile course. Benjamin A. Schmeckpeper ’05 trailed close behind his teammate to clock in at 25:21 and finish in fourth place. Trailing early in first mile of the race, the dynamic duo could not close the gap between them and the race winner from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
The gap between MIT’s second and third runners continued to plague the team, as almost a minute separated Schmeckpeper and Brian C. Anderson ’04. Anderson, known for his blazing finishes, was still able to claim 20th for the Beavers with a time of 26:21.
The pack of Albert S. Liu ’03 (26:40), Carlos A. Renjifo ’04 (26:45), and Craig B. Wildman ’03 (27:02) finished the scoring for MIT by capturing 28th, 31st, and 40th places, respectively. Fivos G. Constantinou ’06 (27:19), David S. Gray ’06 (27:37), Eric A. Khatchadourian ’06 (27:39), and George Hanson ’03 (27:42) rounded out the rest of MIT’s attack.
MIT will regroup and prepare for the NEWMAC Championships a week from Saturday at Wellesley. The “Runnin’ Beavers” will look to gnaw their way back to victory against the talented Polar Bears from Coast Guard Academy. At the James Early Invitational, Coast Guard finished only 23 points behind MIT without their top runner.
“It’ll be a dogfight. We’ll need to run a little better if we hope to defend our NEWMAC title,” said coach Halston W. Taylor.