Men's Cross Country Places 3rd at Maine
By Imran Hendley
On Saturday the MIT Harriers traveled to the University of Southern Maine for a sneak preview of New England Division III Regional Championships in November.
If the race ended at one mile, Middlebury would have won decisively. The lead runner came through the mile mark shouting, “My heart rate is only 110!” But his monitor must have been counting every other beat, because a few minutes later he was nowhere to be found.
MIT knew not to take it out too hard with the hills looming on the third mile. Ben A. Schmeckpeper ’05 was especially conservative, running two seconds behind Eric A. Khatchadourian ’06, and Brian C. Anderson ’04 through the first two miles, instead of taking his usual twenty-second lead on Tech’s second through fifth men by that point in the race. Kevin F. Brulois ’07 and John A. Brewer ’05 came through two seconds behind Schmeckpeper in 11:01 for two miles.
MIT led going into the undulating third mile, but Bates College began to zero in, and Williams College was making up ground fast. MIT’s pack began to thin when Anderson showed some weakness on the hills and dropped back. At this point Schmeckpeper was in the lead, but by the fourth mile Neal Holtshulte of Williams had caught up. Things were looking very good for the Williams pack as MIT and Bates only had four runners in the mix.
The final mile was downhill and fast, allowing Williams to take advantage of running more conservatively earlier in the race. Anderson tried to make up for lost ground and passed Khatchadourian, who began to fade in the last mile. But he couldn’t catch Bates’ fourth man, and when the dust settled, Bates came out second with seventy-four points, on top of MIT by two points. Williams took first place individually and in the team competition with sixty points.
Schmeckpeper was the second place individual, running 26:33. Brulois held on for an impressive tenth-place finish in 27:06, ten seconds faster than he ran last week on a much easier course. Brewer was next in fifteenth with 27:19, followed by Anderson twenty-third in 27:39, and Khatchadourian twenty-sixth in 27:48. Ian H. Driver ’05 and Chris J. Fidkowski G also ran well to round out the top seven in 28:07 and 28:24, respectively.