Courtesy Wesleyan Sports Information
HADLEY, Mass. - Tufts University and Williams College took home top honors at the 2005 NESCAC Cross Country Championships, held at the Long Lane Farms course and hosted by Wesleyan University. The Tufts men captured their third consecutive crown, while the Williams women separated themselves from the pack to earn sole possession of the title, after sharing it in 2004 with Middlebury.
Only four points seperated the Tufts men (58) from second-place Williams (62), as the top five finishers for the Jumbos came in at 4th, 7th, 8th, 16th, and 23rd, edging out the Ephs who placed two runners in the top five of the event. Host Wesleyan finished in third place with 99 points, followed closely by Bowdoin in fourth with 105. Trinity rounded out the top five teams with 152 points.
Williams senior Neil Holtschulte (Marysville, Ohio) earned medalist honors for the third consecutive year, finishing with a time of 25:09.2 - shattering the Long Lane Farms course record by almost 40 seconds. Holtschulte was joined in the top ten by fellow Eph junior Stephen Wills (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Host Wesleyan saw senior Owen Kiely (Athol, Mass.) earn second place, and graduate student Wes Fuhrman (Sun River, Ore.) finish sixth. Tufts’ combination of seniors Matt Lacey (Amherst, Mass., 4th) and Matt Fortin (Raymond, Maine, 8th) along with junior Josh Kennedy (Guilford, Conn., 7th) helped the Jumbos reach their third consecutive crown. Other members of the top 10 included Bates senior Dan Johnson (Detroit Lakes, Minn., 5th), Trinity freshman Hunter Norte (Ellington, Conn., 9th), and Connecticut College freshman Keith Drake (Lebanon, N.H., 10th).
On the women’s side of the championship, Williams (45) earned its 10th championship with a solid all-around performance, as four Eph runners placed in the top-10. Rival Amherst placed second with a score of 56, followed by Colby in third with a score of 78, the highest finish for the Mules in the past decade. Rounding out the top five teams in the NESCAC Women’s Cross Country Championship were Tufts in fourth with 90 points and Middlebury in fifth with 119 points.
Williams senior Caroline Cretti (Carbondale, Colo.) earned medalist honors for the third time in the last four years (2002, 2004), finishing with a time of 17:54.6, just over a second shy of the course record. Joining Cretti in the top 10 of the field were sophomore teammates Liz Geason (Newton, Mass., 5th) and Mallory Harlin (Cranford, N.J., 7th), and senior Michelle Rorke (Bronxville, N.Y., 10th). Amherst junior Shauneen Garrahan (Fairfax Station, Va.) finished three seconds off the leaders pace for second, recording a time of 17.57.9. Amherst was also well represented in the top 10, as freshman Nicole Anderson (Kailua, Hawaii) finished eighth and sophomore Heather Wilson (Danvers, Mass.) placed ninth. Wesleyan junior Ellen Davis (Montclair, N.J.) finished third, the lone representative for the Cardinals in the top 10. Colby’s junior Karen Prisby (Agawam, Mass.) and senior Jessica Minty (Concord, Mass.) finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
The Long Lane Farm course is the home of the Wesleyan University cross-country team. The newly designed course opened in 2004 and is a true cross-country course that runs through fields, wooded trails and even a small creek. The course has long gradual hills with one major hill that the women run once and the men run twice. The women’s 5k course begins on an upper field, where the runners complete a loop of the field before heading into the woods, proceeding across a creek towards a back field loop. After completing the back field loop, the runners return to the woods before finishing a final loop on the upper field. The men’s 8k course runs the same loop as the women and then heads back into the woods for a second loop, finishing on the upper field. The men’s previous 8k course record was 25:48.2 held by Wes Fuhrman of Wesleyan. The women’s 5k course record is 17:53.3 held by Carter Hamill of Amherst.