POOR PERFORMANCES NET 17TH PLACE FINISH
October 8, 2005
An MIT team with the opportunity to show they belonged among the top five Division III teams in New England and among the top 10 of all schools in the region failed to seize the moment, placing 17th among the 47 teams with a score of 441. The rain and muddy conditions made the going a little slow for everyone but MIT seemed to slow more than others in the final two miles of the race, losing perhaps as many as six team places.
Going into the competition, the worry was not MIT's top four runners but the gap between the fourth and fifth runners that had plagued them throughout the early season. Led by Fivos Constantinou, Eric Khatchadourian, Kevin Brulois and Jake Ruzevick were planning on placing among the top 50 runners by running a smart, well-paced race. If either Erik Stafl, Spencer Dudley or Kevin DiGenova could place in the top 100 MIT would have a good score.
While the first group led by Constantinou were pretty much on pace through the first two miles, the second group led by Stafl fell off the pace significantly in the second mile. In the third mile all the MIT runners fell off the pace a bit, but still managed to stay in good position. However, the good position ended there. In the fourth mile Constantinou was the only one of the seven to stay competitive. Constantinou hung tough through the end of the race, despite a cold he had battled earlier in the week. His time of 26:01 to give him 38th place were time and place personal bests. The other Engineers finished with a good last mile but it was too little, too late. Overall, MIT finished seventh among Division III teams, a little further back than expected.
In the sub-varsity race, MIT had similar results. One bright spot was delivered by Trevor Rundell. The freshman had missed the past three weeks due to an I-T band injury, but came back as if he had not missed a day, placing 21st in the race, and fifth on the team when combining both races. Former standout, Steve Maltas had a good race in his comeback season with a 28:09 finish and a well paced race.
Next week, MIT travels to Albany, NY to race in the Albany State Invitational. The unfamiliar teams and course should provide a refreshing atmosphere and hopefully lead to a better race.