The cross country teams showed their depth over the weekend, with the women’s and men’s teams both finishing in the top 10 at the ECAC Championships on Saturday, without their respective top runners. The women took fifth, while the men ended up sixth.
The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) is made up of 312 member schools, including 182 Div. III schools.
Forty women’s teams and 44 men’s teams participated in Saturday’s race at Williams, giving the Lord Jeffs plenty of competition.
The top six men and top eight women continued training for the upcoming NCAA regional meet and didn’t race, allowing others the chance to step up.
Amy Dao ’14 led the way for the women’s team with a 17th place time of 23:58 over the six-kilometer course, good for an average mile of 6:26.
Olivia Tarantino ’15 finished 10 places back in 24:23, with Liza Schalch ’12 coming in at 24:30 for 34th place in her last collegiate race. Kristen Moulton ’13 finished next with a time of 24:52 and a 46th-place finish, and senior Laura Zaccagnino stopped the clock at 25:16 to take 66th and finish up the scoring.
Amherst ended up with 190 points, ensuring the team a comfortable fifth place finish over rival Wesleyan. NESCAC schools dominated the overall championship, taking the first seven spots.
Middlebury’s Claire McIlvennie finished first overall, and the Panthers won the overall title over Williams.
On the men’s side, the top three Lord Jeffs finishers crossed the tape at virtually the same time for a dramatic finish.
Gus Greenstein ’14 ran a 27:39.74 and edged out teammate Eli Howe ’13 by .17 seconds, with Alvaro Morales ’14 finishing just over a second later. The trio took the 32nd through 34th places.
Romey Sklar ’15 was the next in the Amherst pack to finish in 27:51, and co-captain Alec Jacobson ’12 ended his collegiate career in 58th place with a 28:06 in the race.
The Lord Jeffs were rewarded for their consistently strong performances with sixth place overall, the same spot they took in last year’s championships.
Williams put three runners in the top five and took the overall title, while New England College’s Antoine Gisore won the individual title in 26:10.
The cross country teams now turn their attention to next Saturday’s NCAA Regionals at Bowdoin, where the Lord Jeffs will attempt to qualify both as teams and individually to the NCAA National Championships, held this year at UW-Oshkosh.