Runners Draw Up Short at Williams
By Matt Fernald '13, Sports Section Editor
It was a rough weekend for the cross country teams, as both the men and women competed against and lost to archrival Williams in the Purple Valley Classic, held annually in the Ephs’ backyard at Mt. Greylock High School. The women competed in a gaggle of 18 other schools, placing a solid fifth overall, while the men raced in a field of 18 schools and finished ninth. For the men, it was surely disappointing, as they did not live up to their goals; but with nagging injuries and viruses affecting a few key runners, no one will be surprised to see the men’s and women’s teams finishing strong in future meets.


The women were led by sophomore Ali Simeone, who ran a stellar race on the six-kilometer course, placing second with a time of 22:19, just two seconds behind Williams’ sophomore star, Jenifer Gossels, and just ahead of yet another Williams sophomore, Annie Dear. Simeone and Gossels raced last year in a couple of meets, with Gossels getting the upper hand in those encounters as well, but the two-second spread in this race is the closest Simeone has ever been to her Purple Cow counterpart. The development of this rivalry will be one to watch in the next few years.

Placing second for the Jeffs was senior captain Christina Wong, who collected 28th place overall with a time of 23:33. Wong would prove to be the only woman representing the senior class in the team’s top five scoring on Saturday. Just behind her was freshman Tori Sosnowski, who finished in 23:40 to place 30th and was followed by two sophomores: the ever-improving Abby Hopper and Elodie Reed, who came in 37th (23:46) and 51st (24:06), respectively.

The other women to place for the team were senior Mercedes Taylor, who served as Amherst’s sixth runner in 67th, and junior Eliza Schalch, who placed 70th. Behind them came a trio of determined sophomores in Keri Lambert, Lauren Almeida and Sarah Daly, who finished with times of 25:05, 25:06 and 25:07, placing 91st, 94th and 96th. Juniors Anna Hager and Melisa Sullivan officially ended the race for the Jeffs.

The women have the coming weekend free of a meet, and will next compete on Saturday, Oct. 9 when they head to the New England Championships.


The men, as before, were led by senior captain Will Yochum, who ran a time of 26:19 on the eight-kilometer course and finished second overall behind Michael Schmidt, a Middlebury Junior. Last year, when the two raced at the NESCAC Championships, it was Yochum who came out on top, beating Schmidt by six seconds. Be sure to keep an eye on this rivalry throughout the course of the season.

With a few key runners like Travis Cohoon and Steven Corsello out of the race with injuries and viruses, it was up to the rest of the team to step up and fill the gaps. Step up they did, as three sophomores and another senior helped fill the slots. Sophomore Adron Pitmon ran the fastest of his short college career, finishing in 33rd with a time of 27:18. Two more sophomores, Dillon Buckley (27:56) and Andrew Erskine (28:07), came behind him in 66th place and 74th place, respectively. The Jeffs’ final scoring runner was senior John McGrail, taking 88th place in 28:33.

Another sophomore, Patrick Grimes, followed close behind, taking the tiebreaker position for Amherst just two seconds behind McGrail, while junior Alec Jacobson again placed in the team’s top seven with a time of 28:39. Following him were freshmen Alvara Morales, who finished in 28:48, seniors Kevin Hanley, 28:59 and Jack Seaver, 29:18, and sophomore Eli Howe, who finished in 30:10.

The setback of not having an entirely healthy squad certainly affected the team’s overall placement of ninth, but solid performances from underclassmen like Pitmon, Buckley and Erskine should give the men high hopes as the season progresses. They, like the women, have the following weekend off before competing at the New England Championships on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Issue 04, Submitted 2010-09-29 19:25:39