X. Country ready for ECACs

Coming off of strong seasons with numerous impressive individual performances, hopes were high this past weekend for both the Men’s and Women’s cross country teams. Racing at the NESCAC Cross Country Championships on a crisp fall day in Middletown, CT., the men placed eighth and the women seventh in what turned out to be a highly competitive event for the Mules.
With an injury sidelining All-American David Chelimo ’17, all eyes were on Maine State Champion Silas Eastman ’17 to carry the Colby men to a strong finish. Having posted an impressive time of 25:10.8 on the eight-kilometer course at Maine States two weeks ago, Eastman put in another strong performance at NESCACs, finishing 10th overall with a time of 25:27.28 seconds. Sam Sinkler ’18, who competes as both a runner and nordic skier for the Mules, came in second for his team and 29th overall with a time of 26:8.37. The rest of the Mules team also ran well, with Stefan Sandreuter ’16 placing 46th with a time of 26:03.95.
The spirited performances by the Mules were not enough to overcome the competition, however, with the men placing eighth out of 11 with a score of 194. Williams claimed its fourth consecutive NESCAC Men’s Cross Country Championship with a score of only 36, and Amherst placed second with 61 points. Amherst’s top runner Mohamed Hussein placed first with a time of 24:43.46, continuing his impressive feat of remaining unbeaten this season against Division III competition.
If hopes were high for a strong performance by the men, they were just as high if not higher for the women going into the NESCAC Women’s Cross Country Championships at Wesleyan. Having won the Maine State Championships at Bowdoin two weeks ago, where co-captain Alanna McDonough ’16 finished first on the five-kilometer course in 18:17.3 for a second-straight title, the Mules looked to challenge the intense competition at NESCACs. McDonough quickly went on to meet expectations, completing the six-kilometer course in a new personal record of 22:09.6, to finish ninth overall. Caitlin Lawlor ’18 placed second for the Mules with a time of 23:20.6 for 42nd place overall, followed by Taylor Kennedy ’18 in 48th, with a time of 23:33.10. Powered by these strong performances, the Mules finished seventh out of 11, an impressive feat in light of the intense competition.
Williams went on to win the Women’s championship as well, claiming their first title since 2012 with a score of 30. Tufts followed behind in second at 66 points, with Middlebury placing third with 92 points.
Despite strong showings at NESCACs this past weekend, it is not yet time for the Mules to relax, as they have a full three weeks left in the cross country season. With the ECAC Championships on November 7, the New England Division III Championships on the 14, and Division III nationals on the 21, both teams will continue to train hard in an effort to forge a strong finish for what has been an impressive season.

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