Cross Country Ends Season Strong

This past weekend, both the men’s and women’s Cross Country teams capped off their seasons at the New England Division III Championships. Many Colby runners had great showings in what were valiant efforts by  the men and the women.

The New England Division III Championships took place this past weekend in Waterford, CT. 58  teams competed in what would prove to be a NESCAC-dominated competition. On the men’s side, Colby came in seventh place with strong races by team leader Silas Eastman ’17 alongside Griffin Gagnon ’17 and Benard Kibet ’18. The women’s team finished respectably, coming in ninth place behind great performances by captain Alanna McDonough ’16, Caitlin Lawlor ’18, and Taylor Kennedy ’18. Both teams  finished the season strong by beating CBB rivals Bates College and Bowdoin College. The men’s team finished with a score of 205, earning them seventh place ahead of eighth place Bates (228) and 11th place Bowdoin (336). On the women’s side, Colby came in ninth with a score of 277 to beat 11th place Bowdoin (372) and 12th place Bates (380).

The men’s team ran without All-American David Chelimo ’17 and rebounded from their disappointing finish at the NESCAC championship. Their eighth place finish at  NESCACs on October 31 left a sour taste and fueled them in the two weeks of practice that followed.   Standout Eastman had an impressive tenth place finish at the NESCAC championship, which was good enough for second team all-NESCAC honors, his second time receiving the honor.  His performance at the New England Division III Championship only added on to his resume. Eastman finished 11th out of a total of 380  racers, completing the eight  kilometer course in an astounding time of 25:08, a feat that earned him All New England Honors. Coach Jared Beers was ecstatic with the performance and proud of the improvement the team made between their disappointing NESCAC championship and their respectable finish at the New England Division III championship. Eastman will continue his pursuit of success next week at  the Division III Championships in Winneconne, WI.

Colby Women’s Cross Country looked to improve from their seventh place finish at the NESCAC championship two weeks ago. Strong performances from each runner on the team helped the women finish  a notable ninth out of 58  teams at the New England Divison III Championship. Top performer McDonough shined again.  Her 17th place finish qualified her for the upcoming Division III Championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin. McDonough has experience at that level,  having earned  a 44th place finish as a sophomore and a 57th place finish as a junior last year. McDonough aims to  finish her college career strong with a great race in Wisconsin. Her coach, Deb Aitken, looks to help McDonough in what might be both of their final races. Coach Aitken, who plans to retire following this season, mentioned her enthusiasm in travelling to the fall Division III Championships once again.

As the cross country seasons come to a close,  the runners can hold their heads high after solid performances in their final races. . The women’s highlight of the season was their top finish at the State of Maine Championship, where they beat out ten other teams on their way to a savory first place finish. The men had two glorious victories, winning the Bowdoin Invitational early in the season and finishing second at the State of Maine Championship. Both squads look to support their runners at the Division III Championships this coming weekend.

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