Cross Country Takes Vermont Invite

By JORDAN HOWELL

The Middlebury cross country teams did quite well in their two most recent meets. The men’s team was able to come in thirty-sixth place and the women’s team in thirty-fifth place at the Paul Short run on Friday, Sept. 29. The highlight of last weekend, however, took place on Saturday, Sept. 30, when both teams captured first place in their respective races at the Vermont State Meet.

Kate MacCary ’19 knew how big of an impact these races would have in terms of confidence, especially the Paul Short Run.

“We are very excited to be sending 10 teammates down to Pennsylvania to race in the Paul Short Invitational this weekend,” MacCary said. “The Paul Short race is contested on a fast course, and we will be competing against many strong Division I programs. This race is massive and packed with fast competitors, so it represents a great opportunity for us to get a taste of what the championship meets will be like.”

The men ran in a 39-team field in the gold race in the Paul Short run. At thirty-sixth place, they got a total of 915 points. The top five runners were Harrison Knowlton ’19 with a time of 25:14, Miles Meijer ’19 with a time of 25:21, Ascencion Aispuro ’18 and Andrew Michelson ’19, who both finished with a times of 25:25, and Theo Henderson ’20 with a time of 25:29. Jonathan Perlman ’19 had this to say about the team’s performance at this meet: “Paul Short went very well for us! Almost all of the guys that raced there ran personal bests. I think the team did a good job running in a tight pack in a big field with our 1 to 5 runners only being 15 seconds apart. One thing we would like to improve on is having that pack be closer to Amherst and Williams’ top runners which will be crucial if we want to win Nescacs.”

The women’s side also ran in the Paul Short gold grouping, but in a field of 41 teams. The top five runners garnered 877 points for the thirty-fifth spot. The top five were MacCary with a time of 21:31, Abigail Nadler ’19 with a time of 21:36, Meg Wilson ’20 with a time of 22:10, Tasha Greene ’21 with a time of 22:16 and Rory Kelly ’19 with a time of 22:20.

The women’s team was very proud of their performance at this race.

“Our performance at Paul Short was a huge confidence boost for us,” Read Allen ’18 said. “We entered in the Gold race, which was far more competitive than the Brown race we ran in last year. When you’re racing against some of the fastest women in the country, it can be seriously intimidating. Although the place we finished in doesn’t reflect it, we had an incredible day with PRs almost all across the board. The fact that we could step it up in a big meet setting bodes really well for regionals and nationals.”

The men’s team finished the Vermont State Meet with 20 points to get first out of nine teams. In this race, the Panthers were able to capture the nine spots within the top eleven. Perlman came in second place overall with a time of 26:58.3. Kevin Serrao ’18 in third clocked in at 27:11.4. Ben Hill ’19 with a time of 27:19.0 got fourth. Graham Rainsby ’21 in fifth had a time of 27:27.9 and in sixth was Will Meyer ’20 with a time of 27:34.0.

21 points compiled by the women’s team at the Vermont State Meet. In this race, Allen and Kate Glew ’21 got first and second place with times of 19:08.6 and 19:19.0. Brianna Bisson ’17, Leah Metzger ’20 and Olivia Mitchell ’20 got sixth, seventh and eighth with times of 19:51.4, 20:17.6 and 20:26.4.

“I would say after a weekend like this, it’s easy to be optimistic about where we’re heading. Our training is clearly paying off and all of those summer miles are starting to do great things for us! We’re pretty pumped,” Allen said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams won’t race again until Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Connecticut College Invitational. Moreover, both teams are pumped and ready to continue their strong seasons.

“We will be able to take a break from racing and just focus on getting in really solid workouts,” Perlman said. “I think we still haven’t peaked as a team and can keep improving on our performances from this past weekend.”

Allen expressed optimism for the women’s team.

“I think physically we’re ready to crush it at Connecticut College,” Allen said. “Right now, we need to focus on getting mentally prepared. Our confidence is up after this past weekend, but we need to make sure that we’re sustaining that through these next two weeks. We’ll put in a lot of hard work, but in a sport like cross country, what really determines our fate is our mental game.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.