WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Mules travelled to Williams College to race in the Cross Country NESCAC Championships. The storied Mt. Greylock course promised challenging climbs and a scenic backdrop to one of the nation's most competitive conference finales. Colby was second among NESCAC schools at the Connecticut College Invitational two weeks ago, but raced without usual scorer Collins Kibet, who looks to return from injury at regionals in two weeks. The Mules continued to roll, though, placing three runners in the top 16 to earn two all-conference performances and 4th as a team.
First-year standout Tyler Morris (pictured right) improved upon his impressive rookie campaign, notching a 9th place in 25:57.4, while junior Eli Decker came in just 1.6 seconds behind for 12th. Morris and Decker secured Second Team All-NESCAC honors with their performances, helping the Colby men to their first multiple all-conference race since 2016. Sophomore Ewan Frick nearly ran into the top 14 ,as well, placing 16th and just four seconds behind Decker for one of his best finishes of the season. Last year at NESCACs, Frick placed 87th. His improvement this year is a huge reason for the Mules continued success.
With three runners in the top 16, the Mules looked to sophomores Ben Mellor and Max Lessans to provide the depth needed for a top finish. Five runners are counted towards the team score, and the pair rose to the occasion, finishing in 53rd and 57th, respectively, out of 145 runners.
The Mules' complete effort pushed them past Bates by just three points and helped the team to a 4th place finish behind Williams, Amherst and Middlebury. Coach Jared Beers was impressed with his team's effort and is already looking forward to the next chapter in Colby's rivalry against the other conference heavyweights. "The guys raced extremely well," Beers said, before adding "Respect to Amherst and Middlebury, who had amazing days. We are very excited to race them again in two weeks!"
Colby has established itself as one of the top teams in the conference and will try to carry their momentum into an invitational meet next weekend before focusing their attention on regionals (November 16th), where the team will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Photo courtesy of Jackson Bloch