Most Recent Meet
Little Three's -
Performers of the Meet - Kristian Sogaard, Vernon Espinoza and Spencer Ferguson-Dryden
For the final race of the season where the whole squad would be competing (after this we are racing in Championships with determined squad limits), the guys headed to Wesleyan for the bragging rights of Little Three's. With a great show of support from families and alumni, the guys were hoping to put an end to the winning streak that Williams has continued to pile on over the years but knew they had their work cut out for them. A variety of strategies based on the strengths of the squads in the past years have ultimately come up short, and a we took a different approach this year hoping we might be able to find a little magic but despite great efforts by the guys, the streak continues to grow. Mohamed, in an effort to help become familiar with a hard pace later in the season, had a plan to go hard from the beginning of the race and continue to press the pace while the rest of the guys would be content to race the race as it was dictated by others - a change from the past couple of years. While Mo started the first mile or so well, and to the plan, he would ultimately relax a bit and then end up running from the front while towing along 3 other runners and the free ride caught up to him at the end, as he was out kicked in the final stretch but still ran a solid time of 25:13. The rest of the guys did a little better job of focusing on racing the race as it would unfold, and a big pack was still intact through the 3rd mile as the pace was comfortable, and guys that might not usually be there were working hard to stay in touch and that helped with some break through races by the end. The bigger pack started to split in the last mile, as Cosmo responded to the first break with another Williams runner, and in the final straightaway was able to put a little distance on him to finish5th overall in 25:47. Those 2 opened a sizable gap to the next wave of runners - about 10 or so seconds back, and while we had hoped for some company to go with Cosmo, guys were doing a nice job of battling and Steve launched a huge kick at the beginning of the field that brought him from about 14th or so and moved all the way up to 8th and closing hard on 7th when he stepped in a hole and went down, losing his momentum and having to settle for a 10th place finish. Raymond came through in 12th, and led a pack of Amherst runners that were the next placings up to 16th with some time gaps but no people in between as Craig closed out the scoring in 13th, while Kristian, Justin and Scott had great races as they put themselves in contention. A couple of places and short time after, Tucker and Jake finished strongly in back to back places to be followed by a quickly improving Kevin Connors who is returning from a track injury that saw him have to sit out the season last spring and miss all summer training. Jack would come in just under 27 minutes, and had himself up in the fray early on which that experience should be helpful for the rest of the season. Ben used a strong kick in the final 200 meters to move ahead of a couple of runners including Spencer - who had a strong race hanging with out top group for the majority of the race an getting himself out of the comfort zone a bit. Middle distance aces, Jesse and Butko returned to action and came through in back to back places, the difference decided by the fleet of foot kicking speed of Jesse. The pairs continued, as Peter and Kevin came through together, both under 28 minutes while behind them, and both in the Top 50 Aaron and Ermias finished a place apart - with Ermias having a real strong second half of the race to move up from the back of the pack and put himself in contention. Jack got back in the swing of things after not racing this past weekend and looked solid in his return, and then to finish the day out, Chris and Vernon worked with each other throughout to come through with PR's for each - particularity impressive for the 800 guy Vernon who is focused on the XC season as a great strength builder for the track. When the dust had settled, despite valiant efforts across the board, the team grabbed a runner-up finish to the NCAA ranked #3 team and will look to try to close up some of the gaps in 2 weeks when we head to NESCAC. It was a beautiful day for competing and despite the horde of Yellow-jackets surrounding the tables full of food, it was also a great Family gathering afterwards that put a great ending on the day. The boys will take a break from racing this coming weekend, and then look to try and capture their first ever NESCAC Championship when they head up to Colby the week after.