X-Country Claims Top Seven in RaceBy Imran Hendley
MIT men’s cross country took home the Engineer’s Cup trophy for the tenth straight year on Saturday, Sept. 11 at Saratoga State Park.
With captain Benjamin A. Schmeckpeper ’05 taking the race off for training purposes, and Kevin F. Brulois ’07 out with the flu, MIT was looking for two runners to step up and fill the gap in the top five. At the same time, opponents Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Worcester Polytechnic Institute were looking to exploit MIT’s weakness and prevent a repeat of last year’s sweep. But MIT had other plans, as they put their five scoring runners ahead of the field before the half-way point in the race.
MIT held on to complete the five-man sweep with John A. Brewer ’05 finishing first in twenty-six minutes and fifty-two seconds. Brewer ran a near-perfect race on a difficult course and a hot day, remarking afterwards that he wouldn’t have held on had the race been any longer. Eric A. Khatchadourian ’06 came in four seconds behind Brewer for second place in 26:56. Next were Carlos A. Renjifo G in 27:23 for third, freshman Chris M. Bruce in 27:36 for fourth, and Spencer C. Dudley ’07 in 27:41 for fifth.
WPI’s Hunter Bennet-Dagget ’05 was looking good coming down the stretch for sixth place, but MIT’s Erik I. Stafl ’08, and Christopher Wong ’08 were looking even better as they passed him, finishing in 27:47 and 27:48 respectively to make it a seven-man sweep.
Ian H. Driver ’05 and Kevin J. DiGenova ’07 were right behind with finishing times of 27:54 and 27:56 for ninth and tenth places. RPI’s top five claimed the next five places, led by Sophomore Greg Mariano and concluded by Senior and All American 800 meter runner, Joe Otto. MIT was most worried about Otto going into the race, but he never posed a real threat, running near DiGenova for some time before dropping back.
Stephen B. Nicholson ’08 also ran a notable race, finishing in 29:16, and improving nine seconds over his Alumni Meet result on a much tougher course.