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 Vermont State Meet at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon. The Panther teams are idle until October 13 when they compete at the Connecticut College Invitational.
Competing at the 45th annual Paul Short Invitational Gold Race hosted by Lehigh, the seventh-ranked Panther men finished 20th in a field of 40 schools with 550 points in a field comprised of mainly Division I programs. Utah State placed first, scoring 72 points. On the women's side, 13th-ranked Middlebury recorded 855 points in the Gold Race, placing 37th out of 41 institutions. Yale took team honors with a meet-low 188 points.
Matt D'Aquila was Middlebury's top finisher in the large field of 358 runners competing in the 8K, placing 59th overall in a time of 25:22. Jonathan Perlman also finished in the top 100, crossing the finish line in 99th place in 25:38. Miles Meijer was 127th in 25:50, with teammate Henry Fleming was a couple spots behind in 130th with a final time of 25:51. Harrison Knowlton was the team's final scorer, placing 135th in 25:53.
The Middlebury women's top finisher in the 6K was Rory Kelly in 21:58, finishing 72nd in the field of 350 runners. Katherine Glew crossed the finish line in 164th place (22:40), while Anna Willig was next in the 176th slot (22:45). Claire Gomba ran a time of 23:02, placing 205th and the final scorer for the Panthers was Alexis Jakubowski (23:33) in 238th spot.
During the Vermont State Meet, both squads won the team titles. The men topped the field of six schools with 15 points, while the women took top honors with 32.
Benjamin Hill covered the 8K course with a winning time of 29:39.2, as the Panthers claimed the top-six spots and eight of the top-10 places. Quinlan McGaughwas second in 29:50.6, while Noah Whiting was one spot behind in third with a time of 29:59.4. In fourth place, Nicholas Hill boasted a time of 30:18.9 and Liam Hoagland was the final scorer for Middlebury in 30:25.0.
In the women's 5K, Abigail Nadler boasted a swift time of 22:35.1 to finish in third place. Chloe Smith was second to cross the finish line for the Panthers with a fifth-place time of 22:47.9, while Olivia Mitchell (23:16.3) and Grace Kirkpatrick (23:36.4) were right behind in sixth and seventh places, respectively. Katelyn Pease completed the scorers for the women with an 11th-place effort in 24:13.4.