Freshmen Dominate the Day

Varsity Run Down the Alumni

September 6, 2009

The MIT Cross Country alumni showed up with strong numbers for the typically hot and humid conditions seen for the annual Alumni/ae meet. Last year, the alumni took it to the men, winning 20-35 and planned on doing so again. Fortunately, the freshmen on the team, along with Gihan Amarasiriwardena '10 and Andrew Erickson '11, did not fear the "Has-Beens" and caught their older brethren to win by a score of 23-32.

The women alumnae fielded a seven person team, and while on paper appeared to have a chance for victory, were not quite in condition for such a feat. Nevertheless, a spirited performance by Andrea Bradshaw '09, broke up an MIT sweep, and Karen Kinnaman '06, finished in seventh with a strong run. However there was not enough support to prevent the varsity from prevailing 16-45.

The women were first on this humid, 80 degree day. In order to prevent individuals on the team from racing too much and to give each person on the team a chance to be among the leaders, only half of the varsity members competed. Bradshaw took control of the pace, hoping the varsity members, without a single member of last year's top seven, would not follow her aggressive early pace. However, being more competitive than cautious, Brooke Johnson '13, Katy Gordon '10, and Katherine Eve '12 (who did compete at nationals in 2008 as an alternate) made chase, not allowing Bradshaw to gain a lead.

At the mile mark, coming through in 5:56, Johnson and Eve had a two second lead over Bradshaw and Gordon. By the two mile mark, even though the MIT trio slowed to a 6:30 pace on the hilly mile, Bradshaw slipped 17 seconds back and Gordon was now pushing the pace. Fifteen seconds back were Marie Burkland '13, Lauren Allen '13, and Sarah Sprague '13, working well together, with Kinnaman 14 seconds back and pushing hard to make up the ground. At the finish, Johnson pulled away from Gordon in the final stretch to win with a 19:25 performance. Gordon followed closely in 19:29 with Eve at 19:36. Burkland caught Bradshaw with a 6:19 final mile, the fastest in the field for that mile. Bradshaw stayed ahead of a fast closing Allen to claim fifth in 20:04 to Allen's 20:08. Kinnaman outsprinted Maggie Lloyd '12, by one second, 20:22 to 20:23.

Closing out the alumnae scoring were Adrienne Bolger '09, Alisha Schor '07, Liz Walker '06, Shelly Manber '08 and Elizabeth Finn '09.

On the men's side, the sixteen competing alumni meant to make it two in a row. If talking their way to victory counted, the "Has-Beens" had the race in the bag. It is a good thing for the varsity that the freshmen simply do not know any better and decided not to mind their elders.

At the mile mark, Eric Khatchadourian '06, Ethan Crain '96, and Yermie Cohen '09 were one second ahead of Amarasiriwardena, Jacob Young '13, and Kyle Hannon '13 with an opening mile of 5:19. One second back the alumni had Joe Roy-Mayhew '08 and Jake Ruzevick '09 to post an imposing top five around the three varsity runners. Eight seconds back a group of five varsity runners were sticking to the race plan.

The second mile, the first with Bear Cage Hill, saw an aggressive move by the varsity members with Hannon leading the way. Cohen was dropped a bit and Khatchadourian and Crain looked like they were trying to hold on. However, Roy-Mayhew was only three seconds back and Cohen and Ruzevick were still nine seconds ahead of the trailing varsity group.

At the end of the third mile, Roy-Mayhew had made his move and was just ahead of Hannon and Amarasiriwardena. Khatchadourian was only two seconds back and doing his best not to get dropped. Young was two seconds behind "Khatch", having lost a little focus with the hard pace. Crain was still in contention, and even though Cohen had fallen back, he was still ahead of the varsity chase group. However, Logan Trimble '13, and Dmitrij Petters '13, were close behind, having already passed Ruzevick and Erickson was moving up quickly. The varsity had just pulled ahead 27 to 28.

True to fashion, the race was won in the fourth mile. Hannon and Amarasiriwardena opened up a nine second lead on Roy-Mayhew and Young was with Khatchadourian, two seconds back. Crain was still in sixth overall, but Trimble passed Cohen and Petters and Erickson were only three seconds behind Cohen. The score with one mile to go was 23 to 33 in favor of the varsity.

Nothing really changed at the finish. Hannon outkicked Amarasiriwardena for an impressive victory in 26:48. Roy-Mayhew just out-dueled Young to the finish line for third place. Crain maintained a three second lead over Trimble, and Cohen remained ahead of Erickson. Ruzevick closed out the scoring for the alumni as he moved up one place to make the final score 23-32.

Also representing the alumni in most impressive fashion were Terry Mcnatt '87, 28:24, Josh Feldman '97, 28:47, Tyler Abrams '09, 29:13, Rocco Repetski '08, 29:19, Chris Wong '08, 29:24, Bob Collins '82, 29:29, Matt Bieniosek '09, 29:40, Peter Mulligan '08, 30:06, Ian Driver '05, 31:20, and Sumner Brown '66, 35:22. Bob Walmsey '84, began the race but after a far too aggressive first mile, realized he needed something for another race this weekend and did not continue.

Next weekend, the other half of the men's and women's roster, minus a few runners, will travel to Saratoga Park in Saratoga Springs, NY to take on RPI and WPI in the annual Engineer's Cup.