Oct. 3, 1998

MIT's Men's Cross Country Team ran in and won the Babson Invitational on Saturday with a low score of 58 points. Led by Captain Mike Parkins '99, and Mark Strauss '01, who finished 1st and 2nd, the Tech runners beat 26 other teams, including nationally ranked Brandeis on this near perfect weather day.

Racing on a course other than Franklin Park for the first time this season, MIT went out harder than usual so as not to get caught on some of the narrow paths throughout the course. However, Brandeis was out in front, with Coast Guard also among the leaders. By the second mile, the lead group which include Parkins, Strauss, and freshman Dan Feldman, had separated from the rest of the pack and MIT's second group by 20 seconds.

The third mile had the first real hill, a 150 meter, winding, low grade incline that did little to slow anyone down. The lead group was only 6 by the end of the third mile with 1 Brandeis, 3 MIT, 1 Coast Guard, and 1 Bates runner. MIT was still trailing Brandeis but not by much. The fourth mile again had the same hill, and again the lead group did not slow down their pace over the dusty, winding course.

MIT's 4th runner, Phil Loiselle '01, had moved ahead of Brandeis's 4th runner and Ed Keehr '01, was even with their 5th runner. The strength of Tech's lead group wrapped up the victory as Feldman finished in 6th to support Parkins and Strauss. Loiselle ended up in 20th with Keehr placing 31st.

For the first time this season, the team was broken up into Varsity and Sub-varsity sections. MIT was looking forward to this opportunity because of their tremendous depth.

The inexperience at leading a race showed, but the results were not affected as MIT finished in 1st with 21 points. Sean Montgomery '01, led the way with his 1st place finish. Liyan Guo '01, mirrored Parkins and Strauss's 1-2 finish by finishing 2nd in his race. Supporting Montgomery and Guo were Jose Esparza '02, in 4th, Jeff Billing '01, in 5th, and Ray Molnar '00, in 9th.

Overall, MIT had their top 9 runners within 1:50 of each other. Coach Halston Taylor thinks they can 14 runners within 2:00, and close the top 5 to within 1:00. MIT's next opportunity to work toward this goal will be on October 10th at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania to test out the National Championship course in the 2nd of two National Preview Invitationals.