Cross Country Men, Week 1

Brown did not field a complete team at the Nassaney Invitational in Smithfield, R.I., on Saturday, but still placed four runners in the top 20. Leading the Bears was senior Ben Stephenson, who finished the 8k course in 26:01.1 (ninth overall). Freshman Will Sheeran of Washington State — primarily a middle-distance runner — was 13th in 26:17.9.

For the third straight year, Columbia ventured to Williston, Vt., before snow started fall and returned with the Vermont Invitational title. In fact, the Lions had the top 13 runners led by Leighton Spencer, who opened his senior season with the victory, finishing the 8k run in 24:50.2. It was a blanket finish for the top five as Mark Feigen, Jake Sienko, Byron Jones and Mike Murphy all crossed the line less than a second behind Spencer.

Cornell wasted no time positioning itself for a jump in the polls, easily defeating Army and Binghamton Friday night in West Point, N.Y. With sophomore Ben Potts taking the 8k race in 24:09.80 followed by teammate Adam Trofa in second, Cornell scored 18 points, well ahead of Army’s 53 and Binghamton’s 64. Senior co-captain Brett Kelly was fourth overall.

Didn’t think Dartmouth was ready to replace 2011 Heps champ Ethan Shaw? Well, the Big Green have an early candidate in junior Will Geoghegan, who won the Dartmouth Invitational. His 24:43.53 8k win was even more impressive when you take to account that No. 12 Syracuse was in the field. The Orange did beat the Green in the team chase (22-39), but Dartmouth senior Jon Gault had a fine run as well, taking fifth. John Keklak was on hand to shoot a lot of images. Check the men’s race out here.

Harvard was slated to run at the Nassaney Invitational in Smithfield, R.I., but only junior Erik Kraus finished the 8k, taking 57th in 27:54.2. Looks like the Crimson are gearing up for the annual Harvard-Yale meet in New Haven, Conn., next week. No, there won’t be a ‘P’ in that race. UPDATE: The Crimson reports that a number of Harvard runners ran five kilometers of the 8k race before quitting.

Penn ushered in the Steve Dolan era on Friday night in an unscored meet with Atlantic 10 favorite La Salle at Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Park. The Explorers had the top four finishers, but the Quakers had two freshmen show a lot of promise in their debut. Thomas Awad, of Chaminade in New York’s tough CHSAA, was the first finisher for Penn in 19:30 (16 seconds behind the winner) while Brendan Smith, also a New York State star, was Penn’s fourth 6k finisher in 19:33.

Jason Vigilante’s Princeton debut as a coach was highly successful as his nationally-ranked Tigers won the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State. And not by a little bit as the final tally was Princeton (25), Georgetown (57), Penn State (78) and Navy (91). Junior Alejandro Arroyo Yamin was the winner, completing the 5.2-mile course in 26:00. Teammates Eddie Owens (26:18, third), Chris Bendtsen (26:24, fourth) and Tyler Udland (26:25, fifth) were close behind.

The Fordham Fiasco was aptly named on Saturday as heavy rains and winds turned the Van Cortlandt Park course into mush. A tornado even touched down in New York City on Saturday. But Mother Nature’s wrath couldn’t stop the Yale Bulldogs, an easy winner over Division I foes Fordham, Rider, Rutgers, Manhattan and St. Peter’s. Sophomore Matt Nussbaum was the top finisher in 26:10.53 while senior Kevin Lunn was two seconds back on the five-mile trek. Yale’s 18 points was far removed from the host’s second-place 64.

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