HARRIERS HAVE LETDOWN AND LOSE TO TUFTS

Feldman Remains Undefeated With Codfish Bowl Victory

September 23, 2000

Although the MIT harriers failed to defend the Codfish Bowl, Dan Feldman took care of the field with a decisive 10 second victory under very humid conditions at the Franklin Park course. Tufts University took MIT to task as they avenged their loss the week before in a tri-meet at their home course.

After a hard week of training, MIT was looking forward to racing against 2nd ranked Keene State. Finding out that Keene State was not racing their top runners, the MIT runners seemed to lose a little of their edge. Whether it was fatigue from their hard week of practice, or a mental letdown, it nevertheless spelled defeat as a Tufts University squad ran an outstanding race outscoring MIT 66-77. Coach Halston Taylor feels MIT would have won by at least 20 points if they would have raced the way they did the week before. Even with Mark Strauss being out with injury, MIT should have placed 5 runners in the top 20.

At the first mile, MIT was in good shape with Feldman just behind the lead group in 4:53, and Ed Keehr and Sean Nolan six seconds back. Albert Liu and Sean Montgomery were about 10 seconds behind Keehr and Nolan and looking ready to move on those ahead. It appeared that most teams had gone out too fast, as Tufts, Trinity, and UMass Lowell all had 5 runners up in front.

By mile two, it was apparent that those teams going out fast were starting to break up, but so was the team from Tech, even after their conservative start. Although they were breaking up prematurely, many still looked as though they were going to put on their patented "walkdown" of their opponents. Feldman was the exception as he opened up a 4 second lead by the 2 mile mark and was not planning on being caught.

The third mile, a relatively easy one, was where MIT caved. Instead of running faster than the difficult second mile, Keehr, Montgomery, Liyan Guo, and Brian Anderson all ran slower, which indicated a total lack of focus or fatigue. By the three mile mark it was obvious MIT was going to be lucky to break into the top 3 as they were in a solid 4th place at that time.

The fourth mile was generally kinder to MIT than to the others, but only slightly. MIT appeared desperate whereas Tufts looked determined. Feldman was again the exception as he continued to expand his lead. With speed from runners like Nolan and Montgomery, MIT was hoping for a big enough comeback in mile 5 to catch their rivals.

Mile 5 did show an improvement in the score as MIT caught Trinity College and UMass Lowell, both of who continued to fade and pay for their ambitious early pace. However, Tufts was not to be caught as JR Cruz, Dave Patterson, and Ben Smith all avenged a loss to Ed Keehr from the week before. Nolan ran a pretty good race as he recovered from a mild hip strain and finished 9th. Keehr finished 12th but the next Tech finisher was Liu in 25th place. Montgomery closed out the MIT scoring with a 30th place finish. The 1:41 delta for MIT's top 5 was far from what will be needed to compete against the power houses from North Central College and Nebraska Wesleyan, ranked 3rd and 4th respectively, next Friday at the National Preview meet in Spokane, Washington.

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