The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Waverly, Iowa on Saturday where Wartburg College hosted the Division III National Championship on their Max Cross Country Course.
With temperatures in the high 20s, the men warmed up for an 11 a.m. start. The 32-team field and individual qualifiers took off hard at the gun. Captains Paul D. Welle ’11, Richard J. Prevost ’11 and Gihan S. Amarasiriwardena ’11 led the team with a great first mile. Through the race, Stephen R. Serene ’12 and Daniel E. Harper ’12 worked well together and closed in on the top MIT runners. Roy A. Wedge ’14, having been knocked down early in the race, moved back into contention. The Engineers lost some ground later in the race but managed to push hard in the final mile. Harper finished with a blistering kick, covering the final mile in 4:39. He crossed the finish line in 25:08, just ahead of teammate Serene. The pair claimed 48th and 51st place, respectively. Welle held onto 71st place as Wedge moved up to 134th. Prevost rounded out Tech’s scoring squad in 169th place. Amarasiriwardena and Logan Trimble ’13 finished as the Engineers sixth and seventh runners.
The team placed 12th overall and finished first among New England schools. This marked the first national appearance for the men’s team since 2001.
The women’s team started out well and established position in the top third of the field. Alina Gatowski ‘11 led the way in the first mile. Tania K. Morimoto ’12, Katherine J. Eve ’12, Anna M. Holt-Gosselin ’11, Martina A. de Geus ’14 and Emma F. Broderick ’14 stuck close together. The lady runners fought hard over the 6K course. By the finish, Gatowski had moved into 24th place, earning All-America honors. Eve closed well and placed 42nd. Morimoto finished in 80th place, just five places ahead of Holt-Gosselin, while de Geus took 100th and closed out MIT’s scoring. Claire E. O’Connell ’14 and Broderick completed the team finish.
The women claimed a spot on the podium with an impressive third place finish and an NCAA team trophy. This is the highest national finish ever for the women’s cross country team. The teams cap off a very successful season and establish MIT XC in the history books.