The Middlebury cross country teams had a busy day Saturday, with one group running at the Paul Short Invitational in Pennsylvania, while a second contingent participated in the Keene State Invitational in New Hampshire. The Panther teams are idle until October 19 when they compete at the Connecticut College Invitational.
Competing at the 46th annual Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh, the 18th-ranked Panther women finished seventh in the Brown Race out of 44 schools with 274 points in a field comprised all three NCAA divisions. Stony Brook placed first, scoring 127 points, while Columbia was second with 176. On the men's side, 20th-ranked Middlebury recorded 960 points in the Gold Race made up of nearly all Division I teams, placing 37th out of 44 institutions. Utah State took team honors with 49 points, while the University of Pennsylvania was a distant second with 144.
Middlebury's top women's finisher in the 6K was Cassie Kearney in 21:30.8, who placed 14th in the field of 370 runners. Talia Ruxin crossed the finish line in 19th place (21:46.7), while Meg Wilson was next in the 45th slot (22:04.7). Chloe Smith ran a time of 22:19.7, placing 63rd and the final scorer was Sophie Nardelli (22:53.6) in the 133rd spot.
Henry Fleming was Middlebury's top finisher in the large field of 378 runners competing in the 8K, placing 142nd overall in a time of 24:50.9. Theo Henderson crossed the finish line in 157th place in 24:55.2. Alexander Kessler was 237th in 25:22.5, with teammate Connor Montgomery was a few spots behind in 241st with a final time of 25:25.5. Quinlan McGaugh was the team's final scorer, placing 277th in 25:37.2.
During the Keene State Invitational, the men finished fifth of 16 schools with 155 points, while the women were sixth of 19 with 187 points.
Max Cluss covered the 8K course with an eighth-place time of 26:32.5 for the Panthers. Nick Hill was 32nd in 27:29.3, while Nathan Evans was two spots behind in 34th (27:33.5). One spot back was Nicolas Paneto, who boasted a time of 27:35.2, while Isaac Kaplan was the final scorer for Middlebury in 54th (28:15.7).
In the women's 5K, Leah Metzger posted a time of 19:36.2 to finish in 34th place. Olivia Mitchell was second to cross the finish line one spot back in 35th (19:37.2), while Julia Jaschke (19:41.4) and Grace Kirkpatrick (19:51.2) stopped the clock in 39th and 44th places, respectively. Katherine Kenny completed the scorers for the women with a 45th-place effort in 19:51.6.