September 3, 2005

2005 marks the 100th anniversary of cross country at MIT. In honor of the event, many alumni came back to Cambridge to celebrate and take part in the annual race against the varsity. Ben Schmeckpeper, one season removed from his varsity days, easily handled the varsity runners, winning by nine seconds with a time of 25:56 on a 80 degree, sunny day at Franklin Park. The alumni, even up with the varsity through two runners, put their three, four, five runners in just after the varsity's, resulting in a 23 to 32 loss.

At the start of the race there was no doubt the alumni were in this race for the win. Schmeckpeper and Dan Feldman took the lead and pushed the pace through a 4:54 first mile. Terry McNatt followed the varsity's second group and a large group of alums, including Chris Fidkowski, Jesse Darly, Eugene Tung, Carlos Renjifo and Bob Collins closely followed. At mile one the alumni had eight runners in front of the varsity's seventh man.

At mile two, Schmeckpeper and Feldman maintained their lead. The varsity still held the next five places but McNatt had fallen off the pace a little. Renjifo and Fidkowski had separated themselves from the rest of the varsity to set the stage for the rest of the race. If Schmeckpeper and Feldman could hold off Fivos Constantinou and Kevin Brulois then the three alums would need to move up and break up the varsity threesome of Eric Khatchadourian, Jake Ruzevick and Trevor Rundell.

By mile three, Feldman was falling back from Schmeckpeper and Constantinou and Brulois were only three seconds behind. The alumni threesome were now 14 seconds behind the varsity trio. The alumni were banking on the fact that the varsity's fourth and fifth runners were both freshmen and may crack in their inaugural 8K race.

At mile four, Feldman had fallen to fourth but the freshmen fell away from Khatchadourian and Fidkowski and Renjifo had closed to within eight seconds of Rundell and 14 seconds behind Ruzevick. Throughout the last mile Fidkowski closed the gap but ended up five seconds behind Ruzevick and two seconds behind Rundell. Renjifo could not close and McNatt showed a lot of game keeping Kevin DiGenova of the varsity from catching him in the final straight.

Using the age graded tables, the Alumni were able to squeeze out a 26-29 victory. Sumner Brown '66, moved up from 42nd to 5th place and Terry McNatt '87, moved up from 10th to 6th to push Khatchadourian back to seventh and give the "Has Beens" a well earned victory.

Also racing for the alumni were:

Sean Montgomery

Jim Garcia

Ian Driver

Bob Zak

Anton Briefer

Sean Kelley

Yuval Mazor

Ed Keehr

Sumner Browne

James Williams

Gus Blomquist

Robert Wesson

Gerardo Corona

Dave Schultz

Jeff Lukas

Mike Lyons

Other alums cheering theirs teammates on were: Sean Nolan, George Hanson, Albert Liu, Josh Feldman, Larry Petro and Bob Yankaskas.