Cross Country Races Yield Mixed Results
By Matt Fernald '13, Sports Section Editor
While many students were able to relax and enjoy the fall break to its fullest, the battle-hardened cross country teams took to the trails once again at the New England Championships in Boston’s Franklin Park against over 40 other schools. Though neither team managed any outright victories, the women placed a solid 15th out of 47, while the men finished 21st out of 42.


Once again, super sophomore Ali Simeone led the Jeffs, consistently maintaining a strong position near the front and finishing 15th overall with a wicked time of 18:05 on the 5K course — a healthy 40 seconds faster than her previous time on this course.

Next to cross the line for the Jeffs was junior Melissa Sullivan, whose time of 18:44 earned her place number 43. In the heart of the pack came Abby Hopper, who continued her breakout season by placing third for the team and 103rd overall with a time of 19:19.

Twenty seconds later, the women’s scoring runners were all done, as senior tri-captain Christina Wong and sophomore Elodie Reed finished at the 19:28 and 19:38 marks, respectively. First-year Tori Sosnowski and junior Shannon McKenna were the team’s sixth and seventh runners, closing out the meet for the Jeffs.

While the varsity team certainly performed well, it was the story of the women’s junior varsity race that captured the attention of coach Erik “Ned” Nedeau. Junior Eliza Schalch took off from the starting line and never looked back, staying in the pack of race leaders and taking 16th place with a time of 19:15 — a time that would have earned her third on the team had she run the varsity race. A mix of veterans and freshmen alike made up the rest of the JV squad, and all put on stellar performances, some following Schalch’s example and easily breaking 20 minutes.

The team will next be gearing up for the Little Three Championships, which will be hosted at Wesleyan this coming weekend.


The men’s team saw a day of mixed results. Senior tri-captain Will Yochum found himself on the positive end of things in the 8k, as he tore through the course, improving his position with each mile, using the last one to gain on the pack of leaders and finish in eighth place overall in 24:41. Yochum’s performance marked the best time and place for an Amherst runner since Rob Mitchell’s runner-up finish in 1997. He was also awarded, for the second time this year, honors as the NESCAC Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week.

Fellow senior Steve Corsello came in second, taking 86th in 26:03, while sophomore Patrick Grimes ran with him for almost the entire race and took 92nd with a time of 26:09. Two more sophomores rounded out the scoring for the Jeffs that day, as Adron Pitmon continued to show off his improvement, running a 26:34 for 146th place, and Andrew Erskine ran a 26:59 to finish in 188th.

In the JV race, senior Kevin Hanley ran what Nedeau called “one of his best, if not the best, races of his career.” Hanley led the JV squad throughout the race and ended with a time just over 27 minutes.

First-years Alva Morales and Gus Greenstein were the second and third runners for the team in that race, finishing well under 28 minutes. Junior Alec Jacobson took fourth for the team, and another freshman, Joe Nassirian, showed great improvement from previous races and just missed breaking 28 minutes.

The men will travel with the women to compete at Wesleyan this coming weekend. With a healthy squad, the men have a good chance of upsetting their rivals on Saturday.

Issue 06, Submitted 2010-10-20 16:38:51