After an impressive showing last week at the NEIAAA Championships, the MIT Men's Cross Country Team was looking forward to their next competition. The fact that it was at Franklin Park, which is the fastest course the team has run this year, combined with the opportunity to win the 6th straight conference title, had the team ready to run.
The goal of the team was to sweep the first five places. While this was a lofty goal, all in the top 5 thought that it was doable. The game plan was to stick with what has been successful thus far, which is run in designated groups and communicate for much of the race. The plan started out well, with the first group coming through the first mile in 5:00 and the second group in 5:13. At 1 1/2 miles, a downhill combined with a lack of communication separated the first group. At 2 miles it was obvious that Arnold Seto 'G was going for the victory, and that the others were caught between trying to go with him and sticking with the group.
Due to MIT's depth, the Engineers held on for an easy victory, scoring 30 points to Springfield's and Coast Guard's 55 points. Completing the list of teams was Norwich (134), WPI (147), Babson (148), and Clark (208). However, instead of the normal 30 seconds or less delta among the top 5 that MIT is accustomed to seeing this season, the gap was 1 minute.
The 10 + inches of rain that fell in the last week, combined with the seasonably warm temperatures certainly slowed the runners down a bit, nevertheless, Seto held on for victory with a time of 25:45, earning him CAC Runner of the Year. Josh Feldman '97 followed Arnie in 5th place in 26:06. Close behind Josh were Mike Parkins in 6th with a 26:09, and CAC Rookie of the Year, Chris McGuire '00 in 26:17 for 7th. Dan Helgesen '97 rounded out the scoring for MIT, finishing 11th in 26:45.
After a weekend off from competing, Tech will prepare for the NCAA Qualifier at Westfield State College on November 9th. Currently, the Engineers are seeded 4th in New England and only 2 teams can go to Nationals. If the desire is there, and the group running and communication are going well, MIT may be able to surprise some people and qualify for the 2nd time in 3 years.