Feldman, Nolan and Montgomery Lead the Way With 1-2-3 Finish

October 27, 2001

For the fourth consecutive year, MIT's men's cross country team ran to victory in the fourth annual NEWMAC Championship with Dan Feldman, Sean Nolan and Sean Montgomery leading the Engineers low score of 23 points with their 1-2-3 finish. Also for the fourth year in succession, Coast Guard ran a strong race to finish second with 68 points. Springfield College rallied to finish third with 92 points and was followed by WPI (104), Wheaton (111), Babson (112) and Clark (225). The cool 50 degree temperatures produced good times in spite of the relatively strong winds as all 17 MIT runners ran season bests at Franklin Park and 13 of those were all time bests at their home course.

As usual, the pack started out fast with MIT running comfortably but certainly not in the lead. By the 2 mile mark that had all changed as Sean Nolan joined Dan Feldman at the lead of the race and Sean Montgomery had moved up to 6th. Albert Liu was back around 12th and Mark Strauss, who was running conservatively as he makes his comeback from a year long injury, was back in about 20th with Brian Anderson. Ben Schmeckpeper, the NEWMAC rookie of the year, was steady in about 15th place.

Between miles 3 and 4, Feldman and Nolan widened their lead to 30 seconds and Montgomery moved up to 3rd. Liu moved up to 8th and Strauss was moving fast through the pack, approaching the top 10. In the final mile, Montgomery finished with a 4:46 mile to keep pace with Feldman and Nolan. Strauss ran a 4:52 to close ground on Liu and finish right behind him in 9th place to round out MIT's scoring. Schmeckpeper added support with an 11th place finish with Anderson finishing in 21st position to bump back all opposing team's score. The top six Tech runners earned All Conference honors by virtue of finishing within the top 12.

This is the first race in quite some time that MIT has had 2 runners under 25:00 and 2 more under 26:00. With all the success of the top 7 runners, it was the amazing PRs by the remaining Tech runners that highlited the race. Ian Driver not only broke 28:00 for the first time at Franklin Park but ended his freshman year with a 27:24. Yuval Mazor, who had just broken 29:00 two weeks before, nearly broke into the 27s with a 28:00--not bad for a 400 runner. Alan Raphael has to be the most improved, suddenly realizing this year that he could run cross country well. Alan broke 28:00 for the first time at Franlin Park, finishing with a 27:26 performance.

In two weeks, the Engineers head to Westfield State to challenge other Division III teams for the New England Division III Championship and the right to represent New England at the National Championships the following week at Augustana College.