Cross Country Continues to Stride Through Their 2018-19 Season

By JORDAN HOWELL

BENJY RENTON
Cassie Kearney ’22 races at the Aldrich Invitational on Sept. 15.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to excel three weeks into the fall season.  On Saturday, Sept. 23, the teams competed in the Purple Valley Classic. For the first time this season, neither of the teams placed first, but they raced well against tough competition.  

Harrison Knowlton ’19 was well aware of the potential challenges posed by the meet before the weekend. “I think the team is well prepared for Purple Valley,” Knowlton said beforehand. “It should be a faster course with better competition and it’s our first time putting on spikes to race. It’ll be a good test for us against most of our conference and regional competition.”

Ultimately, the men captured third place with 103 points, falling behind RPI and Williams. The Panthers’ top three runners were Matt D’Aquila ’21, Henry Fleming ’20 and Knowlton.  D’Aquila came in 11th place with a time of 26:19.2. Fleming came in 13th with a time of 26:26.5, and Knowlton earned 18th place, finishing with a time of 26:32.6.  The other runners in the top seven for Middlebury were Theo Henderson ’19, Miles Meijer ’19, Jon Perlman ’19 and Andrew Michelson ’19.

BENJY RENTON
Matt D’Aquila ’21 races at the Aldrich Invitational on Sept. 15.

The women’s team came in fourth place with 129 points, finishing behind MIT, Williams and Tufts. The Panthers’ top three runners were Rory Kelly ’19 in fifth place, Cassie Kearney ’22 in 12th and Claire Gomba ’19 in 27th. Their times were 23:01.2, 23:18.4 and 23:46.8, respectively.  Rounding out the rest of the team’s top runners were Katie Glew ’21, Julia Jaschke ’20, Tate Serletti ’20 and Ellis Glickman ’22.

“Our team performance was really strong. Coach Wilkerson has designed our training with a view to the long term, so our best results will come later in the year,” said Fleming. “Despite this, everyone on the team had a really solid day and we ended up beating some top-ranked national teams. Overall it was a lot of fun, a lot of high fives, a lot of good energy, and a lot of high fives.”

On Saturday, Sept. 29, the men and women will be competing in two meets: the Paul Short Invitational and the Vermont State Meet. Both the meets are away from campus.

In terms of the preparation and mindset going into these meets, “We’re still gonna be firing on all cylinders training wise,” Fleming said. “We view these meets as a chance to run against some of the nation’s best teams across all three divisions, so we’re going in ready to take on anyone.”

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