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Men’s Cross Country Team Wins 2003 NEWMAC Championship

By Imran Hendley

TEAM MEMBER

The Tech Harriers won their sixth NEWMAC cross country title in as many years last Saturday. Since the contest’s inception in 1998, the trophy has never left MIT’s hands.

Clark University’s new course at Hillside Park in Boylston, MA, was host to this year’s competition. Boasting sideways slants, unsure footing, and narrow paths through the woods, the course looked as if it was going to claim an ankle or two before the end of the day, but fortunately MIT’s runners escaped unscathed.

Wheaton College’s Stan Pyle became the first non-MIT individual winner as he finished in 25:14 for the eight kilometer course. Recovering from hamstring cramps in the fourth mile, Ben A. Schmeckpeper ’05 finished only eight seconds back, leading MIT with second place in 25:22. Eric A. Khatchadourian ’06 ran a personal best of 26:23 to take fourth place. On his heels for fifth place was Chris J. Fidkowski G in 26:25, also a personal best. The remaining of MIT’s top seven all placed in the first fourteen spots to earn All-Conference honors. Kevin F. Brulois ’07 finished eighth with a time of 26:40. Brian C. Anderson ’04 finished tenth in 27:12. John A. Brewer ’05 was twelfth in 27:16. Ian H. Driver ’05 came in fourteenth with a time of 27:21. Brulois was also crowned NEWMAC Rookie of the Year.

Spencer C. Dudley ’07, Kevin J. DiGenova ’07, and Steve J. Stoddard ’06 all placed in the top third of the race, taking eighteenth, twenty-fourth, and thirty-third places, respectively. Stoddard finished out his season with a personal best time of 28:32. Eric T. Nelson ’07 didn’t run as well as usual but still finished with a respectable time for the difficult course. Fivos G. Constantinou ’06 and Sam J. Berberian ’07 chose not to risk getting hurt right before the indoor season by joining injured runners Steve K. Maltas ’06 and Carlos A. Renjifo ’04 on the sidelines. All four will be looking to come back strong on the track as MIT defends its New England Division III title.

However, the cross country season isn’t over for MIT’s top seven, as they look to the NCAA Division III Regional Qualifier being held at the University of Southern Maine on Nov 15. MIT has dropped to sixth place in New England in the coaches’ poll, and they need a fourth place finish to make it to Nationals in Indiana the following week. The way things look, only Tufts University and Keene State College are strong enough for the top two spots, whereas Williams College, Amherst College, Bates College, and MIT will all be fighting it out for three and four.