Men’s Cross Country Captures First Little III Championship in 29 Years
Issue   |   Fri, 10/20/2017 - 02:20
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Amherst dominated this year’s edition of the Little III championship, claiming four of the top five places, including first overall, for a winning margin of 11 points.

Since 1988, Williams had emerged victorious at the annual Little Three Championship, a tri-meet between Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan. The Mammoths made history on Saturday when they defeated the Ephs by a score of 25-36 to break their archrivals’ 29-year winning streak.

Williams hosted the meet on their home course at Mt. Greylock High School, but due to construction, the course was different from years past.

However, it was the same course the harriers traversed at the Purple Valley Invitational in September.

At both the Purple Valley Invitational and the Paul Short Run earlier this season, the Mammoths easily beat the Ephs, making Amherst the favorite going into the meet.
From the start of the race, the top Amherst and Williams runners ran together up front, giving neither team an early advantage. Following the 5k point in the eight-kilometer race, Amherst started to break the race open,as the top-four Mammoths battled the top-three Ephs.

With less than a mile to go, the lead pack was whittled down to Cosmo Brossy ’19, Clark Ricciardelli ’20E, Mo Hussein ’18 and a Williams runner, with Tucker Meijer ’19 not far behind.

The last 800 meters of the race were decisive, as Brossy and Ricciardelli separated from Hussein and Liam Simpson of Williams to finish first and second, respectively. Hussein, a four-time All-American, fought hard but was passed by Simpson in the final stretch to finish fourth.

Meijer held his position and finished fifth, twenty seconds ahead of the next competitor.

Following Meijer was a pack of seven Ephs, an impressive display of Williams’ depth. The Mammoths needed their fifth runner to cross the line to break the winning streak, and Kristian Sogaard ’19 made history when he finished 14th and as the Mammoths fifth scorer. With Sogaard’s finish, which was the 800-meter All-American’s first time scoring in the team’s top-five, the Mammoths defeated the Ephs.

Right behind Sogaard was Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ’20 in 15th place. The sophomore fought hard in the last mile of the race, and his improvement this year has been critical for the Mammoths’ success.

Jack Wesley ’18 was the team’s seventh runner, finishing in 23rd place to round out the team’s scoring.

Jacob Silverman ’19 rebounded from a tough race last weekend to finish 30th. Ralph Skinner ’20 claimed 33rd place, using his 800-meter speed to kick past several runners in the final stretch.

Aaron Zambrano ’18, Justin Barry ’18, Billy Massey ’21, Estevan Velez ’20, Chris Stone ’20 and Jamie Mazzola ’21 rounded out the team’s runners on the difficult Mt. Greylock course.

“The team was absolutely thrilled to be part of such a historic win,” Sogaard said. “To be on the team that broke Williams’ 29-year winning streak is an honor and we really appreciate all the alumni that came out to cheer us on. The race itself was tough since the Williams course is very hilly, but our team raced smart and moved up throughout the race to secure the victory.”

The Mammoths will be off next weekend, training for the NESCAC Championships where they will seek to earn the team’s first ever conference title. The Mammoths will be the favorite when they race at Bates.