The Panther men’s cross-country team has enjoyed great successes over the past two decades, winning both state and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships. In 2010, the team claimed its first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship and advanced to the NCAA Championship meet as a team for the first time in program history. The Panthers have returned to the NCAA Championship meet every year since that point, finishing a school-best seventh in 2013. Individual student-athletes have earned All-NESCAC, All-ECAC and All-New England honors. Additionally over the last 12 years, the men’s team has earned NCAA Coaches Association All-Academic honors.
The Panther women’s cross country team has built a tradition of excellence and enjoyed great success over the past two decades. Middlebury has won six NCAA Championships (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010) along with 14 NESCAC titles. The squad is a regular mainstay in the top-10 national rankings, often holding down the top spot. The Panthers have qualified for the NCAA Championships in 24 of the last 26 years, finishing third in 1997, seventh in 1998 and second in 1999, before capturing its first NCAA crown in 2000. Additionally for the last 17 years, the women’s team has earned the U.S. Track and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors.
Both teams compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), a conference that boasts several schools in the top 10 nationally in both the men’s and women’s rankings.
Training begins with a week of preseason practice prior to the start of classes in September. The team trains each weekday at 4:30 p.m. with practices lasting between 45 minutes and two hours. The daily workouts include stretching, easy distance runs, leg speed, fartlek, strength, interval and pool workouts. Most competitions are held every Saturday beginning the second weekend of September and running through the third weekend of November.
Middlebury’s cross country course is considered one of the most scenic in New England. The first mile winds around the College athletic fields and joins the Red Kelly Trail, which follows the perimeter of the College’s golf course. The course consists of moderately rolling terrain with several steep hills. The surface of the course is grass, dirt and wood chips, and is acknowledged by visiting coaches as one of the best in New England.