October 31, 2013
On a cruel fall day with temperatures in the low 40s compounded by bitter gusts, Hamilton’s cross-country teams pushed themselves to the limit, capping off their last home meet with third place finishes. The coaches and captains both expressed their joy at the continuation of the positive results that they have experienced this season.
The men were again paced by Adam Pfander ’16 who won the 8K race in 26:13, 16 seconds ahead of the next finisher, and maintained his undefeated record in home meets this season. This streak is especially impressive given that Hamilton’s course is notorious for its numerous uphill segments and slippery conditions after rainfall. Pfander also managed to cement his name in Hamilton history by running the second best course time ever for a Continental. Furthermore, the New York State Collegiate Track Confederation recognized him as its Runner of the Year, an incredible honor that normally goes to seniors and rarely even juniors, let alone sophomores. Captain Will Robertson ’14 lauded Pfander’s “great racing mentality” and is confident that he will “continue to impress opposing teams with his speed and grit.”
Not far behind Pfander, Benjamin Yeo ’15, Jack Moses ’16 and Harrison Sullivan ’16 raced to 16th, 17th and 18th respectively, bolstering Hamilton’s credentials and guaranteeing a top three finish that has evaded the Conts for several years. These results also qualified the three for the all-state team alongside Pfander. Their contributions put the Continentals out of reach of Ithaca College, who finished 14 points behind with 89 points. Hamilton narrowly lost out by six points to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Captain Robertson stressed the vital contributions of Yeo, Moses and Sullivan, which led to Hamilton’s third place finish.
On the women’s side, Adrian Walsh ’16 sustained her impressive rookie season with a fourth place finish. Holding top five positions for much of the race, she cruised through the course in 22 minutes and 51 seconds. This excellent finish cemented her inevitable capture of the NYSCTC Rookie of the Year award. Captain Allie Gurney ’14 was effusive in her praise of Walsh, saying, “Adrian has never ceased to impress me as a runner. She helps lead a motivated pack and pushes us through every race.”
Captain Sarah Ohanesian ’14 crossed the finish line eleven seconds after Walsh, earning sixth place and setting up Hamilton to improve on their fifth place position from last year. In 19th place, first-year Samantha Buttrick demonstrated her growing importance to the team and Hannah Kloeckner ’14 came in five seconds behind her. Walsh, Ohanesian and Buttrick earned all-conference honors. Ohanesian summarized the meet as a “great accomplishment” and praised “the way everyone works together to motivate and push each other until the finish.” The Continentals finished a mere 13 points behind second placed Ithaca College. St. Lawrence, ranked 18th nationally, finished first with 34 points.
Captains of both teams saw this as a huge step in the right direction in the build-up to NESCACs and regionals when runners aim to peak. The NESCAC conference is much more competitive, with many of its members nationally ranked. Captain Robertson saw the escalated opposition as “a springboard for fast individual times” and targeted Trinity, Connecticut College and Wesleyan as teams to beat.
The NESCAC race will be hosted on Nov. 2 at Connecticut College. Gurney looks forward to the meet, concluding, “we are positioned well for NESCACs and I am excited for both our team’s performances.” At NESCAC, both Walsh and Pfander will look to place in the top five. Following the meet, several members of the team will prepare to run in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Qualifier with hopes of making it to Division III national championship meet.