Cross country excels in first meet
Morgan Lingar ’13 helped propel Colby to victory at the Class Relays.
Between the combined efforts of the men’s and women’s junior/senior and first-year/sophomore cross country teams, the Colby Mules had 19 top-10 finishes in their season opener this past Saturday, Sept. 10. The race—named the Class Relays—was hosted by Bates College at Pineland Farms and ended with a 64-46 overall points victory for the Mule women. The men lost overall; the Bobcats won with an 80-30 score.
This season marks head coach Deb Aitken’s 27th year with the women’s team. The Mules are currently ranked 18th in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III cross country and are ranked fifth in the New England Region. Middlebury College and Williams College hold the top two spots in New England, respectively.
Out of the top seven runners from last year, five are returning for the Mules: Berol Dewdney ’13, Layne Schwab ’13, Claire Dunn ’13, Kate Connolly ’14 and Allison Rigby ’14. In addition, there are six new first-year runners.
Jared Beers returns for his sixth year as the men’s head coach, along with six runners from last year’s top seven; captain Brian Desmond ’13, Tom Letourneau ’13, Chris Halladay ’12, John Williams ’13, Matthieu Nadeau ’12 and Luke Doherty Munro ’13.
In the junior/senior men’s race, Desmond had the best Colby finish, and came in sixth place with a time of 20:14. The winner of the race, Devin Dilts ’12 of Bates, finished in 19:42.
Nadeau was the next Colby runner to cross the finish line in ninth place (21:06), Doherty Munro was tenth (21:09) and Halladay came in 11th (21:10). Nick Papanastassiou ’13, Williams, Justin Rouse ’12, Letourneau, Chase Hammond ’12, and Auston Duncanson ’12 were all in the top 20.
In the first-year/sophomore race, Jeff Hale ’15 and Ben Lester ’15 came in sixth and seventh place, with times of 20:24 and 20:36, respectively. Paco DeFrancis ’14 was ninth (20:38) and Charlie Coffman ’15 took tenth place (20:45). Of the next 10 finishers, eight of them were Mules.
In the women’s races, co-captain Dewdney and first-year Eva Lauer ’15 both took the gold in their divisions. Dewdney’s time was 17:10 and Lauer’s was 17:13.
In the junior/senior race, Schwab, Dunn and Morgan Lingar ’13 were not far behind in third place (17:28), fifth place (17:49) and sixth place (18:09), respectively. Claire Cannon ’13 was 10th, and Brittany Colford ’13, Sylvia Doyle ’12, Abigail Cherulyot ’12, Virginia Keesler ’13, co-captain Robyn St. Laurent ’12 and Rachel Frenkil ’12 were all top-20 finishers.
Colby runners dominated the first-year/sophomore race with eight of the top ten finishes. Kate Connolly ’14 was second (18:09), Sophie Weaver ’14 was fifth (18:24), Michaela Swiatek ’15 was sixth (18:26), Allison Rigby was seventh (18:27), Maeve McGovern ’14 was eighth (18:29), Caitlin Sperzel ’15 was ninth (18:41) and Kylie VanBuren ’15 was tenth (18:41).
Although both teams have a large roster of fast runners, they aren’t just shooting for good results. Women’s co-captains Dewdney and St. Laurent told their team that “by being the best runners we can be, we want to be the best people we can be.”
With a season goal of sending their top seven to nationals, both teams have been training harder than ever. “While many think running is an individual sport, the Colby team is truly a team in that we run as one, with a goal not to beat each other, but rather push each other to be the best runners we can be,” Rigby said. “We’re not only passionate about the sport, but also caring about the well-being of every person on the team.”
Next, the Mules will take on Bowdoin College on Sept. 17 in Brunswick, Maine.