Cross country starts strong

After a long offseason, the Colby men’s and women’s cross country teams came out of the gate looking as strong as ever. After opening the season ranked 21st nationally in Division III, the men’s team began the season hoping for a win over Bates following last year’s tie. With an impressive time of 19:15, All-American David Chelimo ’17, was able to edge out Bates runner Allen Sumrall by 12 seconds to take home first place for the Junior/Senior six-kilometer race. He was not Colby’s only first place finisher of the day, as Sam Sinkler ’18 was the top runner of the Freshmen/Sophomore race with a time of 19:52. With three top five finishers in each of the races, the meet ended with Colby winning both competitions, giving the team a 62-48 victory over the Bobcats.

The women’s team had similar success. With a 65-45 loss to the Bobcats last year, the squad was seeking revenge on its NESCAC rival. The women looked strong in their first meet with tri-captain Alanna McDonough ’16 leading the charge with a time of 17:05. Despite a narrow score of 28-27 with Colby on top in the Junior/Senior Race, the fresh men and sophomores pulled through when Taylor Kennedy ’18 finished the 2.84 mile course in 17:11 to earn first place, allowing the team to beat Bates 58-52. Combined with the men’s team, Colby Cross Country was able to defeat Bates 120-100, as all four of the first-place finishers were Mules.

After boosting their confidence with the win over Bates, the teams still needed to prepare for the Bowdoin College Invitational this past Saturday. Both teams gave their top runners the day off, allowing the program to showcase its considerable depth.

The men’s team came into the 8,000 meter race hoping to have the top finishers. With a competitive field of ten teams, Colby performed remarkably well. Though the Mules did not repeat the previous weekend’s performance and secure first place, they did have the other four of the top five times. Benard Kibet ’18 was the best Colby finisher and earned second place, with a time of 26:19.9. Other stars of the invitational included Noel Feeney ’18, Reeve Maddux ’19, and Tom O’Donnell ’17 who finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Andrew Estrada ’16 was able to round out the top ten. The Invitational was certainly a chance to highlight some promising young runners, most notably freshman Maddux,who finished in the top four of his first two races for Colby. Overall, the team finished with a total score of 24 and edged out rival Bowdoin for the top spot of the meet.

The women’s team headed to Brunswick ready to follow upon their success of the previous week. The team was able to finish the 6,000 meter race in second place. With a score of 63, Colby had five runners crack the top fifteen. Amy LoTemplio ’19, tri-captain Laurel Whitney ’16, Mahal Alvarez-Backus ’19, and Elizabeth Holland ’19 finished 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th respectively. However, the most impressive runner was freshman Margo Buys ’19, who finished ninth with a time of 24:20, a noteworthy feat in a field of 10 teams. The fact that four of the five top-15 finishers are freshmen highlights the success this team is going to have in the future. Although Bowdoin was able to edge the women’s team out in this race, Colby hopes to build on the success of the last two weeks for future races.

Both teams can look ahead to this Saturday where they will be racing at the Lehigh Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, PA. Hopefully, they will be able to perform as well as they have the past two weeks and take home the victory.

 

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