October 21, 2003
Written by Julie Fox
-- The Tufts University Men's Cross Country team finished first in the Twin
Brook Invitational hosted by Southern Maine this past Saturday (Oct. 18),
continuing their string of fine showings this season.
The team, currently ranked #9 in the nation, finished with 37 points in
the 12-team event, with MIT coming in second with 64 points. New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival
Connecticut College came in third with 93 points.
Josh Kennedy (Guilford, CT) was the top finisher for the Jumbos,
finishing the 8,000 meter course in 27 minutes, 2.2 seconds.
He finished second overall, behind Stan Pyle of Wheaton College who
completed the course in 26:22.5. Sophomore
Kyle Doran (North Attleborough, MA) finished fifth overall and
second for Tufts in 27:12.2, and junior Brian
McNamara (Saratoga Springs, NY) was next for the Jumbos and seventh overall
with a time of 27:14.2. Rounding
out the scorers for Tufts was senior Nate
Brigham (Penacook, NH) who finished in tenth place overall (27:20.8) and
junior Michael Don (Clayton, MO) who
finished 13th overall (27:24.8).
five runners are joined by sophomore Matt
Lacey (Amherst, MA), classmate Neil
Orfield (Burnsville, MN), and senior co-captain Peter
Bromka (Portland, OR) to form the core group of runners who have
consistently scored for the Jumbos this season.
Brigham, Kennedy, Doran, Don, and Lacey were the five scorers for the
Jumbos at the New England Championships on October 10, where the team finished
ninth out of 47 teams and first among Division III schools.
That race was especially gratifying as it marked the first time Tufts had
beaten Keene State University, the only New England team ranked ahead of them in
the October 7th poll. After getting
the best of the Owls at the New England Championships the Jumbos vaulted up to
their current ranking of #9, while Keene State dropped to #10.
Coach Connie Putnam's team started the season off by finishing second in
four straight meets. In their
season opening meet on September 6, the Hayseed Classic hosted by the Jumbos,
the team finished second only to Division II Bentley College. The next week the Jumbos competed in the Connecticut College
Invitational, finishing second to the College of New Jersey, currently ranked
#12 in the country. After finishing
second to NESCAC rival Amherst College in the UMass Dartmouth-Shriners
Invitational on September 20, Tufts hosted the Jumbo Invitational on September
27 and came in second to Keene State. The
Jumbos then rested their top runners during the Keene State Invitational on
October 4 in preparation for the New England Championships.
Jumbos will have an off-week this weekend in preparation for the championship
season, which starts November 1 with the NESCAC Championships at Middlebury.
Tufts hosts the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships
the next weekend (November 8), and then the NCAA New England Championships will
be held at Southern Maine on November 15. The
Jumbos will look to advance to the NCAA National Championship Race, which will
be held at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana on November 22.
Last season marked the first season since 1997 that the whole team failed
to advance to the National Championship race, a fact that will certainly
motivate the team further.