October 6, 2000

MIT's top eight runners had their first weekend off from racing, and in their stead, the "B" team competed at the Bryant College Invitational. Led by Brian Anderson, who finished 13th, the Engineers finished 2nd out of 8 schools with 78 points behind WPI's 39.

Running on a near perfect day, weather wise, and a very challenging course that offered hills, narrow paths, and sharp turns, the MIT harriers ran a very inspired, if not a well paced race, to have a time spread among their top five runners of only :13 seconds. Not being accustomed to being the group that is expected to bring the trophy back to Cambridge, the number 9-20 runners went into the race with a plan to accomplish just that. However, having a plan and having the patience to make the plan work are two very different things.

An ambitious pace was established by the lead pack for the largely downhill first mile. The second mile had many tight turns and a fair share of hills. Most of those who continued the ambitious pace for this mile paid dearly later in the race. The third mile was a very difficult mile that allowed for very little passing due to the narrowness of the course. MIT moved from a 3rd place position at mile two to a small lead at the end of mile three. This move was a bit premature given the uphill nature of the last two miles, and proved to be the downfall of the MIT team as the WPI runners reestablished the lead and pulled away in the final mile to a convincing victory.

The inexperience of the Tech runners takes nothing away from the strong effort put forth by the entire team. Following Anderson were Matt Yarosz in 14th, Ray Molnar in 16th, George Hanson in 17th, and Phil Loiselle in 18th. Jeff Billing, who finished 21st ran the smartest and most evenly paced race for MIT with only a :39 second difference from his fastest to slowest mile, which on such drastically different terrain and topography, was remarkable.

Next week, the top 7 will be back in business, competing in the All New England Championship at Franklin Park on Friday at 1:30. This meet tends to mirror the NCAA Division III Championships pretty closely. Even without at least one of their top 5 runners, the Engineers hope to finish in the top 10 against the mainly Division I opponents.