Cross country season concludes

The men’s cross country team hit the road this weekend and traveled to Terre Haute, Ind., to compete in the Division-III Championships. The top five runners’ scores were factored in to earn the Tartans a No. 17 place finish out of 32 teams.

“Nationals was an incredible experience, it’s amazing being around so many elite athletes. Not all of us had our best race today, but the fact that the Tartans got 17th in the nation on a bad day reflects just how great our team was this season,” junior Josh Newby said. “We’ve all been working our tails off nearly every day since the beginning of the summer and it’s great that the work has paid off in such a big way.”

The first Tartan to cross the finish line was senior Evan Gates, who completed the eight kilometer race with a time of 25:10.8. Sophomore George Degen and Newby finished within 20 seconds of each other with times of 25:29.3 and 25:49.5, respectively. The final two runners to add to the Tartans’ score were juniors Ken Murphy, who finished in 26:03.4, and Brendan O’Hara, who finished at 26:19.8.

“I don’t think we had our best race, but to have finished equal to our pre-meet ranking on an off day is very satisfying. Everyone except Evan was running his first national meet, and it was very different from any meet we had run before,” senior Graham Shorr said. “I think the underclassmen can look forward to building off this year’s experience, and the seniors can be proud of leading the team back to nationals.”

This race was the last of this season’s cross country campaign. The Tartans ended the season with two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes.

“Coach Donatelli and assistant coach Mallory designed our training for us to peak right now, and it worked,” Newby said. “All of us on the bus driving home right now are in high spirits and looking forward to heading to nationals again next year.”