XC races at Williams, women 6th
Sometimes teamwork occurs as a binary. On Saturday, September 25 at the Purple Valley Classic hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., captain Andy Maguire '11 and Ben Cunkelman '11 proved just that. In the late September heat, the two seniors ran together for the length of the 8-kilometer course, finishing in 52nd and 51st places, respectively, in times of 27:44 and 27:42. "I felt the pace was even throughout, and Ben and I moved up past much of the crowds through the last three miles," said Maguire. "Overall, the team ran a solid race today, and accomplished our goals of scouting it out for the Division III New England race there in seven weeks."
Colby placed 13th out of 18 teams as fellow Mules Tom Letourneau '13 and Brian Desmond '13 rounded out the Mule runners in the top 100, finishing 82nd (28:14) and 85th (28:18), respectively. The five runners under 29 minutes (the fifth was Mat Nadeau '12 in 28:50) were the most recorded by Colby in one 8K race since 2006.
"[It was] definitely a valuable experience to preview the [Division] III [Championships] course, and good to see us run fairly competitively in a very high quality race," said Desmond. "This was one of the best Colby performances at this course in a long time."
Mat Cloherty '14 ran the second-fastest time for a Mule first-year on this course in 29:01, right behind John Williams '13, who finished with the same time but a place ahead. Mike Langley '13, Justin Rouse '12 and Dylan Nisky '13--who was battling a cold--came in at 29:31, 29:35, and 32:02, respectively. "Nisky was sick, but gutted out the race," noted coach Jared Beers, "Respect."
"As a team, this was our strongest performance on this course since I've been coaching," said Beers. "Better than a rested NESCAC team from 2007. Encouraging in our second race, but many miles to go."
Maguire added, "Considering the level of competition, the difficulty of the course, and the heat, we performed well. We feel confident in our training to prepare us to crush here in November."
On the women's side, Colby placed sixth out of 19 teams, with Amy Tortorello '13 (23:12) and Berol Dewdney '13 (23:13) leading the way and finishing in 18th and 19th places, respectively. First-year Kate Connolly placed 43rd in 23:54, Claire Dunn '13 was 52nd in 24:07, and senior co-captain Emma Linhard was 62nd in 24:23. The Mules are currently 29th in Division III nationwide rankings and seventh in New England.
Next weekend both teams will race at home, as the Mules host the Colby Invitational. Gun time is high noon.