The Middlebury cross country teams both turned in strong performances at the Purple Valley Classic hosted by Williams on Saturday afternoon at the Mount Greylock Regional High School course. The 19th-ranked men placed fourth in the 26-team field with 117 points, while the eighth-ranked Panther women were sixth out of 26 programs with 164 points.
The men finished behind three top-15 nationally-ranked teams, including second-ranked SUNY Geneseo, who won the team title with 87 points. On the women's side, five teams in the top 16 nationally finished ahead of the Panthers, as third-ranked MIT claimed the crown with 55 points.
The Middlebury men had all five scoring runners place in the top 31 in the field of 324 runners. Leading the pack was Miles Meijer, who completed the 8k course in 26:44.3 placing 11th. Matt D'Aquila finished 24th overall in 27:04.7, while right behind was Theo Henderson in 25th (27:05.0) and Connor Evans in 26th (27:06.3). Harrison Knowlton completed the scorers in 31st place with a mark of 27:08.6.
Katherine MacCary paced the Panther women to the line, taking 22nd out of 286 runners in the 6k race with a time of 23:19.4. Right behind her was Talia Ruxin in 23rd with a mark of 23:19.5, while Abigail Nadler was 25th in 23:23.7. Tasha Greene was the next Panther finisher when she posted a time of 24:04.5 to finish 45th, while Meg Wilson rounded out the scorers in 51st (24:10.6).