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 eighth-ranked men placed third in the 16-team field with 103 points, while the sixth-ranked Panther women were fourth out of 13 programs with 129 points.
The men finished behind a pair of top-17 nationally-ranked teams, including sixth-ranked Rensselaer, who won the team title with 41 points. On the women's side, three teams in the top 14 nationally finished ahead of the Panthers, as fourth-ranked MIT claimed the crown with 67 points.
The Middlebury men had all five scoring runners place in the top 31 in the field of 209 runners. Leading the pack was Matt D'Aquila, who completed the 8k course in 26:19.2 placing 11th. Henry Fleming finished two spots behind in 13th overall in 26:26.5, while Harrison Knowlton was next in 18th (26:32.6) and Theo Henderson in 30th (26:50.1). Miles Meijer completed the scorers in 31st place with a mark of 26:54.5.
Rory Kelly paced the Panther women, taking fifth out of 129 runners in the 6k race with a time of 23:01.2. Next to cross the line was Cassie Kearney in 12th with a mark of 23:18.4, while Claire Gomba was 27th in 23:46.8. Katherine Glew was the next Panther finisher when she posted a time of 24:14.0 to finish 41st, while Julia Jaschke rounded out the scorers in 44th (24:20.9).