The MIT men’s and women’s cross-country teams traveled to Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts on Saturday with their sights set on qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championship.
On an unusually warm and sunny November day, the men toed the starting line first. Ranked ninth in the region going into the meet, the seven-man team was determined to earn some respect. From the start, the men positioned themselves very well and were all among the top 30 by the mile mark. They maintained their strength through a hilly second mile. Paul D. Welle ’11 kept pace with the lead pack, while Daniel E. Harper ’12 and Roy A. Wedge ’14 held their places in the top 12. Stephen R. Serene ’12 and Richard J. Prevost ’11 lost a few spots but continued providing support. Gihan S. Amarasiriwardena ’11 was running very well in the top 25 and Joseph Alexander Christopher ’12 was fighting to hang on in the third mile.
Coming into the finish, Welle kicked hard to cross the line in 25:57 for an impressive sixth place. Harper and Wedge worked well together and came in 11th and 12th place, respectively. Serene held onto 29th place and Amarasiriwardena, the Tech’s final scoring runner, finished 35th. MIT scored 93 points to defeat host and defending champion Williams College by eight points. This is the men’s first New England Regional Championship in Institute history.
The women’s team, competing against six other nationally ranked squads, raced next. Katherine J. Eve ’12, Claire E. O’Connell ’14 and Anna M. Holt-Gosselin ’11 took off fast at the gun. By the mile mark, Alina E. Gatowski ’11 and Tania K. Morimoto ’12 were up with the leaders. Holt-Gosselin maintained pace in the top 20, while Martina A. de Geus ’14 and O’Connell followed less than ten seconds behind. Margaret M. Lloyd ’12 was running well in the top 40. Through the hills, Morimoto and Gatowski fought to stay with the leaders but faded off pace slightly. The pair held their top 10 spots and crossed the finish line in eighth and ninth place clocking 22:41 and 22:42, respectively. Eve closed with her classic kick and finished in 21st place. Rounding out MIT’s scoring places, de Geus and Holt-Gosselin finished 31st and 36th. The Engineer’s scored 105 points to finish 4th place as a team, just two points behind rival Amherst College. Middlebury College, ranked first in the nation, won the contest with 58 points.
Next week, MIT travels to Waverly, Iowa, where Wartburg College will host the National Division III Championships.