Second-Place Nescac Finish for Cross Country

By JORDAN HOWELL

A season of hard work has clearly been paying off as both the men’s and women’s cross country teams came in second out of fields of eleven teams at the Nescac Championship meet on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“All the heavy work is behind us,” said Ascencion Aispuro ’19, two weeks prior to the race on Saturday. “Now we just have to sharpen up our speed and strategic minds as we prepare to face strong opponents. The title is up for grabs. It won’t be easy, but our team loves a good challenge. It will only make taking the title that much sweeter. Win or lose, we’re going to contest our opponents and give them a clear message on how we plan to perform in the post season as well.”

The men’s team captured second place with a score of 66 points. Amherst was ahead of them with a score of 35. The fastest runners for Middlebury were Harrison Knowlton ’19 and Aispuro who came in seventh and eighth place, respectively. Knowlton had a time of 25:34.3 and Aispuro had a time of 25:37.0. Matt D’Aquila ’21 came in twelfth place with a time of 25:42.5. Theo Henderson ’20 captured seventeenth place with a time of 25:52.4. Connor Evans ’19, with a time of 25:58.6, came in twenty-second place.

“It’s hard to capture the high spirits on the team after coming in second,” said Henderson after the race. “All I can say is that it was a lot of fun, a lot of high fives, a lot of energy, and a whole lot of high fives.”

The women’s team captured second with a score of 77 points. Williams came in first with 62 points. The fastest member for Middlebury was Kate MacCary ’19 with a time of 22:22.5 which got her seventh place. Next up was Nadler in ninth place with a time of 22:25.7. The third scorer for Middlebury was Rory Kelly ’19 in fifteenth place with a time of 22:51.2. The next two scorers were Read Allen ’18 with a time of 23:02.1 and Katie Glew ’21 with a time of 23:23.6. Allen came in eighteenth place and Glew came in twenty-eighth place.

“We were very proud to come in second as a team,” said Kelly. “We faced some adversity during the race but worked hard with each other and for each other, and though we were runners-up, we still beat Tufts and Bates, two very strong teams.”

Next on the schedule is the NCAA Regional Championships in Gorham, Maine on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Panthers have been prepping all season for this race.

“Our season-long goal has been to focus on the process and to have fun,” said Kelly. “Thus, going into NCAA postseason races, we are looking to continue enjoying the experience together and having a ton of fun along the way.”

“Our goals for NCAA Regionals and Nationals are as lofty as ever,” added Henderson. “We’re looking to place as high as possible and bring home some real swell memories.”

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