The Middlebury cross country teams start the postseason portion of their respective schedules when they compete in the 2019 NESCAC Championships on Saturday in Massachusetts. Williams will serve as the host for the first time since 2007. The 6K and 8K courses will wind through the grounds of Mount Greylock Regional High School. The men's race kicks off the championship at 12:00 p.m. and the women follow at 1:00 p.m. This year marks the 45th conference championship overall and the 37th at which team titles have been contested. The first seven championships were only individual meets.
A total of five men's and five women's runners from last year's top-14 finishers and All-NESCAC honorees from each race return in 2019, including both individual champions Ryan Cox (Williams) and Sophia Gorman (Colby).
2018 Championships Recap
At Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the Amherst men's cross country team captured its second straight NESCAC title, while the Middlebury women's cross country team claimed its 14th NESCAC Championship. The Mammoths repeated as NESCAC Champion with a team score of 60 as their top five finishers all scored in the top 25. Ryan Cox of runner-up Williams out-distanced a pack of four runners down the stretch to win the race with a time of (25:27.8). The Panthers won their first title since 2014 with a team score of 47 as all five runners placed in the top 15. Colby's Sophia Gorman won the individual title with a time of 21:54.8, 14 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
About the Teams
In seven races heading into the NESCAC Championship, the Middlebury men have had five different runners finish first among the team with seniors Henry Fleming (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Theo Henderson (Cold Spring, N.Y.) posting two top performances each. Fleming won the Vermont Tech Invitational (28:04) to lead the Panthers to a season-opening victory and was the top Panther at the Paul Short Invitational Gold Race (24:50.9). Henderson finished 14th at the Purple Valley Invitational (27:10.0) and was seventh at the Connecticut College Invitational (24:50.0).
Senior Talia Ruxin (Lexington, Mass.) and sophomore Cassie Kearney (Rockland, Mass.) have combined to lead the Middlebury women, the defending NESCAC Champion. Ruxin was the top runner in the first three races of the year, highlighted by a win at the Vermont Tech Invitational (19:32) and a runner-up performance at Middlebury's Aldrich Invitational (22:43.5). Kearney led Middlebury in three of the last four races. She was eighth at the Purple Valley Invitational (23:39.0) and placed ninth at the Connecticut College Invitational (21:14.7). Middlebury has two wins (Vermont Tech Invitational and Aldrich Invitational) among its seven top-10 finishes this season.
Results from both races of the 2019 NESCAC Cross Country Championships will be posted online at NESCAC.com.
2019 NESCAC Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships
Saturday, November 2
Hosted by Williams at Mount Greylock High School - Williamstown, Mass.
Men's Championship (8K) - Start Time: 12:00 p.m.
Women's Championship (6K) - Start Time: 1:00 p.m.
Awards Ceremony: Following Women's Championship Race
-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --