September 16, 2006

For the second Saturday in succession the hot and humid weather returned to make the cross country racing miserable.  This weekend, MIT traveled to the Twinbrook cross country course, home to both Bates College and the University of Southern Maine.  Joining the fray was Keene State College.  Not only did the runners have to deal with the weather conditions but the course itself is a true cross country course with plenty of hills and turns through the woods. 

MIT, running a controlled and patient race, dominated both the men's and women's races with impressive second half efforts to walk-down the competition.  The men out-pointed their opponents with 32 points to 65 for USM, 66 for Bates and 69 for Keene State in what proved to be a great battle for second place.  The women scored an impressive 25 points, placing seven runners ahead of Bates and Keene State's third runners.   Bates finished with 49 points to 61 for Keene State.

In the men's race, Keene State sent three runners out at the start, creating a sizeable lead at the half-mile mark.  Bates College had a large group along with another bunch of Keene State runners just ahead of MIT's main pack.  Only Jake Ruzevick had chosen to go out with the leaders, running in fifth place at that point in the race.

Between the two mile and three mile marks MIT made a strong move to pull even with their opponents and by the fourth mile mark the race was over.  MIT ended up with six of the top 12 runners, led by Ruzevick with a winning time of 26:57.  Through six runners MIT boasted a delta of :53.  Kevin Brulois finished fifth in 27:27, Johannes Schneider in 27:34, Trevor Rundell in 27:45, Brandon Pung in 27:49 and Joe Roy-Mayhew in 27:50.

The women had not intention of being outdone by the men and proceeded to display the same patience early in the race and even more aggressiveness after the first mile.  Maria Monks grudgingly allowed Evans of Keene State to go unopposed but followed the plan for the benefit of the team.  Leading fellow freshman Jacqui Wentz and Jennifer Doyle past the Keene State and Bates pack of runners in mile two, Monks went on to finish second in 19:30.  Wentz and Doyle finished fourth and fifth respectively in 19:57 and 20:01. 

Tech's second pack caught the pack of Bates and Keene State runners that could not hang with Monks and company in the early stages of the third mile and proceeded to finish hard.  Elizabeth Finn returned to her usual outstanding racing with a 20:06 for sixth.  Hana Adaniya finished in eighth in 20:16.  Rachel Niehuus back from a brief bout with a cold finished in 10th in 20:19 and tri-captain Alisha Schor completed the course and top seven runners in 11th in 20:34.  The top six runners had an impressive delta of :49.

Next week the top for the women and men travel to Wilmington College at the Voice of America course in West Chester, Ohio to race against an impressive field at the Division III pre-nationals on Friday at 4:30 for the women and 5:15 for the men.