For the fourth year in a row, the Amherst Men’s Cross Country team qualified for the NCAA DIII Cross Country National Championship.
The Mammoths placed second to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 91 points to the 81 scored by the Engineers. The top two teams at every regional meet automatically qualify for nationals.

The 2017-2018 season looks to be promising for the Amherst men’s track and field team, which includes a solid core of returners and several first-years looking to make an impact for the Mammoths. The team adds three first-years in Andrew Swenson, Kyland Smith and Ryan Prenosil, in addition to Bill Massey, Jamie Mazzola and Braxton Schuldt who competed for the Mammoths in cross country this fall.

This will be the first season since 2012 where the men’s and women’s teams will be combined, so there will be a group of six coaches leading the Mammoths.

On Friday, the Amherst men’s cross country team sent nine runners to compete at the Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. Competing in the Gold Race, the Mammoths placed 25th with 664 points in a field of mostly Division I and II schools and were the second highest placing Division III team behind Haverford College. Utah State University bested Georgetown, winning the 40-team race with 119 points to the Hoyas’ 167 points.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, the men’s cross country team traveled to rival Williams for the annual Purple Valley Classic. The Mammoths placed third out of 27 teams with 109 points, while SUNY Geneseo, led by individual champion Isaac Garcia-Cassani, claimed the team victory with 87 points.

Just ahead of the Mammoths was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in second place with 95 points. Archrival and defending NESCAC Champions Williams placed fifth with 136 points.

In their first race since placing 12th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships last year, the Mammoths dominated at the Smith Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 9. Amherst won with a near-perfect score of 17, while Franklin Pierce, a Division II school, finished a distant second with 50 points.

Unlike most college cross-country races, the Smith Invitational was contested at the 5k, rather than the usual 8k, distance.

After losing only two of their top-seven runners from 2016, the Mammoths look to have a strong season and return to nationals for the fourth year in a row.

Several experienced members return in 2017, all of whom will help the Mammoths challenge for a NESCAC Championship after placing second to rival Williams the past two years.

Anthony Spina inspires enthusiasm in everyone that he meets. In the classroom, Spina brings an earnestness that professors and classmates alike find magnetic. On the baseball diamond, he brings lightning-quick bat speed and an equally quick ability to put his teammates at ease in the clubhouse. In Amherst Christian Fellowship (ACF), he speaks and reads with a presence and wisdom that belie his youth. This enthusiasm is simply a mirror image of his own approach to life.

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