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Men’s Cross Country Wins NEWMAC Title For 8th Straight Year

By Jake Ruzevick 
and Betsy Eames

The MIT men’s cross country team capped another successful season with its eighth consecutive NEWMAC title in as many years this past Saturday at Smith College. Going into the race, the seven-team conference appeared to be a showdown between MIT and Coast Guard Academy for team honors, but when the results were tallied, MIT prevailed with a score of 25-33.

The Engineers were paced by a second place finish from co-captain Eric A. Khatchadourian ’06 (26:08). Finishing behind Khatchadourian were Kevin F. Brulois ’07 (third, 26:21), co-captain Fivos G. Constantinou ’06 (fifth, 26:27) and Jake J. Ruzevick ’09 (sixth, 26:31). Spencer C. Dudley ’07 rounded out Tech’s top five with an impressive race, finishing ninth in 26:55. Also running excellent races for MIT were Trevor B. Rundell ’09 (12th, 26:59) and Joseph D. Roy-Mayhew ’08 (13th, 27:03).

The NEWMAC individual title went to Michael Flint from the United States Coast Guard Academy. Ruzevick’s performance as the top freshman finisher earned him Rookie of the Year honors. This is the fifth consecutive year the award has been claimed by an MIT freshman.

On the women’s side, MIT raced to a fourth place finish out of 10 teams. Wellesley College won the team title with 43 points.

The top five MIT finishers, Elizabeth M. Finn ’09, Jessica A. Thompson ’07, Hana L. Adaniya ’07, Stephanie A. Flavin ’08, and Betsy R. Eames ’06, placed fourth, 17th, 21st, 26th and 27th, respectively, totaling 95 points.

With a score of 94, Smith College narrowly edged MIT, despite the fact that MIT’s time average for the top seven, 20:06.54, beat out Smith’s average of 20:09.20 per runner.

In another close call, Finn barely missed receiving NEWMAC Rookie of the Year for her performance of 19 minutes and 12 seconds on the hilly 5k course. The award went to third place finisher Relena Ribbons of Wellesley.

Displacers Christa A. Humbert ’09 and Alisha R. Schor ’07 came in 30th and 32nd, respectively. Humbert’s performance was truly a breakout run, moving her up several places within the squad. The other eight members of the MIT squad all finished in the top 80 of the 132 athletes who competed that day.

Despite the near misses, Head Coach Fletcher Brooks could not help being pleased with his athletes’ performances. Compared to a race run on the same course earlier in the season, every member of the varsity squad improved her time by at least 35 seconds. Humbert showed the most notable improvement, decreasing her time by 1:23.

The top seven individuals from each team will continue their season on Nov. 12 at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships at Springfield College. The top three men’s teams and the top five women’s teams from this race will advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships at Ohio Wesleyan University.