Men’s Cross Country Brings Back Nearly All Top Runners for 2017
Issue   |   Thu, 08/31/2017 - 22:36

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.

The top returner for the Mammoths is Mohamed Hussein ’18, who led the team at every meet he competed in last fall, culminating in a fifth-place finish at both NESCAC Championships and DIII New England Regional Championships, and a 68th-place finish at nationals.

The four-time All-American returns to the trails this fall after battling through injury during both the indoor and outdoor track seasons his junior year.

Junior Cosmo Brossy had a breakout sophomore year, earning All-NESCAC honors with his eighth-place finish at NESCAC Championships and helping the team qualify for nationals for the third straight year. Brossy, who is also one of the team’s captains, had excellent track seasons as well, setting new personal bests in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters and placing fifth at NESCAC Championships in the 10k.

Clark Ricciardelli ’20E is a darkhorse for the Mammoths,. The sophomore, who transferred to Amherst in January 2017, has never competed in cross country before. Ricciardelli had a standout season in spring track, leading the team with a 31:02 in the 10,000 meters and a fifth-place finish in the 5K at NESCAC Championships.

Tucker Meijer ’19, the NESCAC Freshman of the Year in 2015, returns with a 15:09 5k personal best set during the indoor season. The junior is one to watch in 2017 and beyond.

Classmate Kristian Sogaard ’19 competed for the Mammoths at regionals and nationals as the team’s seventh runner, and returns to the trails as an All-American in the 800 meters. The junior had a stellar outdoor track season, placing sixth at the DIII Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in May and winning the NESCAC Championships in the 800.

Craig Nelson ’18 looks to be another member of the team’s top-seven, as the senior has placed in the top-25 at regionals the past two years to earn All-Region honors. He also helped the Mammoths qualify for nationals each of the last three years and looks to finish out his cross-country career at National Championships.

Adding to the team’s depth will be Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20, who had a solid outdoor track season, running the team’s second fastest time in the 1,500 with a personal best of 3:57.

Additionally, captain Justin Barry ’18 returns after battling through injury during the outdoor season, although he did manage to set a new personal best time of 15:25 in the 5,000 meters during the indoor season and competed for the Mammoths at the NESCAC Cross Country Championships last fall.

Both Jack Wesley ’18 and Jacob Silverman ’19 competed at NESCAC Championships last fall, adding to the team’s depth. The team also adds a solid first-year class of five experienced runners.

A completely new coaching staff is leading the squad, led by Stephen Rubin, who comes to Amherst with 25 years of coaching experience.

Rubin spent the last five years as an assistant track and field coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Rubin left Chapel Hill after leading several Tar Heels to All-American honors, most recently in the 400-meter hurdles at the Division I Track & Field National Championships in June of this year.

Danny Feldman is the new assistant coach for the team, coming to Amherst from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York. Feldman has previously coached at Washington University in St. Louis and Northern Arizona University.

The Mammoths will kick off the season earlier than usual this year when the team makes the short trip to Northampton to run at the Smith Invitation on Saturday, Sept. 9.