WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The Elms College men's cross country wrapped up their 2014 campaign with a good showing at the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Regionals, hosted by Williams College at Mount Greylock Regional High School Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Shinsuke Tanaka (Hasuda, Saitama) posted the top finish for the Blazers, taking 336th with a time of 33:07.0, followed by sophomore Joshua Rolon Diaz (Chicopee, Mass.) in 337th with a time of 33.07.7, Freshman Corey Tomson took 340th with a time of 33:31. Junior Adam Kuzdzal (Chicopee, Mass.) was 344th at 33:50, and freshman David Antwi (Kumasi, Ghana) came in at 355th with a time of 38:38.
MIT took the race out hard from the start with four runners leading through the first two miles. As the runners entered the flatter middle section of the course,Colin Cotton of Williams and Colby's David Chelimo made moves to join MIT's Spencer Wenck in the lead pack. After the four-mile mark, a large uphill provides the final challenge before an easy descent into the finish. Here, Cotton showed a burst of speed to open up a 50-meter gap on Wenck. Cotton cruised to the finish line to take the victory in 25:10.
Behind Cotton, the runner-up was MIT's Spencer Wenck in 25:15. Bijan Mazaheri of Williams took third in 25:26. In fourth was Amherst's Mohamed Hussein in 25:30. Greg Turissini of Amherst took fifth in a photo finish over Colby's David Chelimo. Both runners crossed the line in 25:33. Seventh place belonged to Jeff Hale of Colby and his 25:37 performance. MIT's Matt Deyo took eighth in 25:38, followed by Tim Nichols of Tufts in 25:39. Wilder Shaaf of Middlebury finished tenth with a time of 25:40. The top 35 finishers earn all-region honors. Additionally, the top seven finishers from non-qualifying teams earn automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Championship to take place on November 22 in Mason, OH.
With five runners in the top 21 places, Colby College won the Regional title with a score of 63 points. Amherst College finished in second with 69 points. With this performance, these two teams have automatically qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship.
In third place were the Engineers of MIT, falling one point short of second place with a score of 70. The host Williams finished fourth with 85 points. Middlebury finished fifth with a score of 136, and Tufts took sixth with 165 points. These teams are among those that will be competing for an at large bid to the NCAA Championship. In total, 16 teams nationwide will qualify at the discretion of the USTFCCCA selection committee. As of 2013, there is no limit on how many teams from one region may qualify for the NCAA Championship. Last year, the New England region received four at large bids in addition to the two automatic qualifiers for a total of six qualifying teams.