2018 Men's Cross Country Season Preview

2018 Men's Cross Country Season Preview

AMHERST, Mass. – Ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in New England in the USTFCCCA Preseason National Coaches Poll, the Amherst College men's cross country team enters 2018 looking to build on the success of an historic 2017 season that saw the team earn a program-best fourth place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships, snap Williams' 29-year win streak at the Little III Championships and capture the program's first-ever league crown.

Cracking the USTFCAAA top-five for the first time since 2015, the Mammoths return a bevy of talent and experience to this year's squad, including five of the seven runners that competed at last season's NCAA's. 

With the addition of four newcomers and a transfer student to a roster that features 14 veterans, Amherst will look to remain contenders in the national conversation under the leadership of head coach Cassie Funke-Harris as they take to the trails this fall.

MEET THE SENIORS
Each earning a spot on the Mammoths seven-harrier NCAA roster last season, Cosmo Brossy '19, Tucker Meijer '19 and Kristian Sogaard '19 lead Amherst's talented senior class. 

A First-Team All-NESCAC honoree, Brossy enters the year looking to build on a terrific junior campaign in which he logged a fifth place finish (25:32.0) at the conference meet and an 82nd place finish (25:24.7) at NCAAs. Both garnering Second Team All-NESCAC laurels a season ago, Meijer placed 14th overall at NESCACs and 112th at the NCAAs with times of 25:45.9 and 25:34.2, respectively, while Sogaard will aim to improve on a 2017-best time of 25:41.9 that earned him 11th place at the NESCAC Championships.

Jacob Silverman '19 (27:05.7) and Ermias Kebede '19 (27:52.50) add impressive depth the the senior class, while opponents should be on the lookout to see what Jack Malague '19 can do after a noteworthy track & field season.

THE UNDERCLASSMEN
Stringing together a breakout sophomore season, First Team All-NESCAC honoree and USTFCCCA All-American Clark Ricciardelli '20 headlines the Mammoths' underclassmen after clinching fourth overall (25:20.5) at the league meet and 33rd overall (24:54.5) at NCAAs last fall. 

Spencer Ferguson-Dryden '20 is also primed to be an impact runner for Amherst once again after proving himself at the national level a season ago, with the junior crossing the finish line in 25:33.5 to place 111th at the national meet.

Ralph Skinner '20, Chris Stone '20 and Estevan Velez '20 round out Amherst's juniors, with Skinner (27:01.3) and Stone (27:54.0) both having NESCAC Championship experience under their belts. 

Each running at the league meet last year, sophomores Bill Massey, Jamie Mazzola and Braxton Schudlt have the potential to be difference makers on the scoresheet, with the trio recording times of 28:30.6, 

Ajay Sarathy '21, Matthew Bradley '22, Owen Daily '22, Will Merhige '22 and Majd Rouhana '22 are the Mammoths' new faces this fall.

Amherst kicks off the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 8 when they host the Little III Championships beginning at 12:15 p.m.