Men’s varsity cross country takes a beating at Wisconsin while the sub-varsity squad wins first at Suffolk Invitational

The team will next compete at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at Princeton on Oct. 30.

by Lanie Everett | 10/18/21 2:05am

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Source: Courtesy of Liam Jamieson

After a first-place showing for the varsity squad at last weekend’s New England Championships, the Big Green’s sub-varsity picked up where they left off with a win at the Suffolk Invitational. Meanwhile, Dartmouth sent its top eight runners to Madison for the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational, where 17 of the 32 schools competing were nationally ranked. 

Last weekend, Dartmouth’s varsity team beat out 23 opponents in Boston to take the top of the podium. The Big Green finished with 60 points — 18 ahead of second-place American International College. Liam Jamieson ’22 led the Big Green’s effort, finishing first for the Big Green and fourth in the field with a time of 24:57 in his first race since 2019. 

“I think the race last weekend gave a lot of the guys who are racing [in Wisconsin] a lot of confidence knowing that the workouts we have been doing and all of the miles we put in are starting to pay off,” Jamieson said.

Dartmouth faced a challenging field in Madison, placing 29th out of 31 teams that finished and 32 that attended with a score of 824. Will Daley ’24 led the Dartmouth pack, finishing 107th overall with a time of 24:34.3. Jamieson was up next for the Big Green, coming in at 25:00.2. Jake Winslow ’23, Colin Donnelly ’24, Albert Velikonja ’25 and David Moore ’24 rounded out the Big Green’s finishers, and two Dartmouth runners did not finish the race. 

Dartmouth and Harvard University were the only Ivy League teams at the invitational — much of the rest of the competition was from large Division I powerhouses. Iowa State University, Stanford University and the University of Tulsa rounded out the top three teams;  Iowa State’s average finish time was 23:40. 

“We all feel like we could have all done better, but it was awesome to race against such great competitors,” Donnelly said. “Not one team in that race was a bad team.”

While Dartmouth’s top eight runners were in Wisconsin, another Dartmouth contingent competed in the Suffolk Invitational in Boston, where the team won the 8k race handily. The Big Green finished with 29 points, putting 46 points of distance between themselves and second-place Colby College. Seth Weprin ’23 finished third of 228 runners in 25:33, leading the Big Green. Four additional Dartmouth runners — Thomas Lingard ’22, Will Chaffin ’24, Johnny Reid ’23 and Mac Hadden ’25 — finished in the top 10.

Now, the Big Green will channel its winning experience and its experience racing against some of the nation’s most elite runners toward its upcoming races. The team has a clear line of focus toward the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 30, where they will race against conference opponents.

“We are feeling optimistic going forward. Rather than getting caught up in the massive crowd [at Wisconsin], it will be much easier for guys to stay mentally engaged,” Jamieson said. 

The cross country team is carrying a young squad and a new head coach — Justin Wood — who has been realistic about beginning-of-season expectations from the start. He said that morale was high at the beginning of the season and continues to be, even after the varsity team was battered this past weekend.

“For us, our plan was to slow-play the season a little bit, which means we weren’t targeting our best performance early,” he said. 

Donnelly and Wood also said that Dartmouth has potential within the Ivy League and the region at large, which would bode well for the Heptagonal Championships. That potential is enhanced by the team’s depth and culture.
“Even though there are five scoring spots, I think it’s safe to say we have closer to seven to ten guys who could be in that top five on any given day,” Jamieson said. “We have 30 or so guys who really love what we are doing and are really best friends with each other.”

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