Cross Country | Tufts men, women come away with loss, win, respectively, at Bates dual meet
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 11:09
Over the weekend, the No.7 men’s and No.14 women’s cross country teams traveled north to Bates to try to prove themselves against the Bobcats’ squads in the season opener. Though the women experienced a successful first meet, the story did not unfold in quite the same manner for the men.
The scores for both the men’s and women’s meets were determined by adding together the finish positions of the top-10 finishers from both schools. On the women’s side, five Jumbos placed in the top seven to propel the team to a final score of 100, beating out host Bates’ 114 points by a healthy margin.
Audrey Gould, a freshman, emerged as the overall winner, while junior Abby Barker -— a mere three seconds behind Gould — and senior co-captain Lilly Fisher claimed the third and fifth places respectively to round out the top-five.
Perhaps most impressive for the Jumbos, more so than the margin of victory, was the fact that three freshmen — one of whom won her first ever collegiate race — cracked the Jumbos’ top 11. With the rookies already putting up impressive results, the team’s belief in its depth and ability has only increased after just one race.
“We had a great day and there’s a lot to be excited about from today’s performances,” said junior Laura Peterson, who was Tufts’ sixth runner to cross the finish line. “But we are just getting into the season and still have a lot of work to do.”
Despite this positive result, the Jumbos are being careful not to let complacency pervade their training and preparation for next week’s race at Williams.
“There is going to be tougher competition at next week’s meet at Williams,” Peterson said. “Starting now we’re just getting ready to take on that next challenge.”
Meanwhile, the men’s side didn’t fare so well on Saturday, falling to a stacked Bates team by the score of 126-85. While Tufts managed four top-10 finishers, they couldn’t match up to Bates’ depth down the line, reflected in the lopsided scoreline between the two.
The Jumbos were led by senior co-captain Matt Rand who posted a time of 25:55, good enough for third place of the 46 competitors.
And although the race culminated in a thoroughly exciting finish, the scales did not tip in Tufts’ favor. There was a scant two-second difference between Rand and the winner of the race, Bates junior Tully Hannan, who was followed in second by teammate and classmate Michael Martin. Arriving behind Rand were Andrew Wortham and James LePage, both Bates seniors, leaving Rand stranded as the lone Jumbo in between pairs of Bobcats.
Next to complete the course were Tufts seniors Kyle Marks and Tyler Andrews, along with junior Jake McCauley. The seniors took the sixth and seventh spots, respectively, while McCauley finished in ninth as the last Jumbo inside the overall top 10. Sam Haney, a senior, and juniors Andrew Shapero and Jamie Norton finished in succession -— 14th, 15th and 16th — to round out Tufts’ top seven.
Considering how they performed on Saturday, the Tufts men were not too pleased with their result. That said, however, there were a few notable bright spots, including McCauley, healthy for the first time after an injury-plagued 2011.
“McCauley stepped up big for us as our fourth man,” Rand said. “He’s finally healthy and could be a weapon for us down the road.”
A full and uninjured roster, too, will surely replenish Tufts’ arsenal of weapons as the season wears on. A calf problem has temporarily sidelined junior Ben Wallis, who, Rand added, will also be a difference maker down the road. And after a slew of particularly intense workouts, the entire team was slightly fatigued, meaning that as the practices ease up a bit, results should improve as the season goes along.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will continue their seasons this coming Saturday, Sept. 22nd, at Williams College.