By Michael Levesque, Assistant Editor.
On Saturday September 25, 2021, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Saxl Park in Bangor, Maine to compete at the Husson Harrier Invitational.
A good race day for the men’s and women’s team was highlighted with the men’s squad capturing first place. Five members from the men’s team finished within the top 32 positions with three runners finishing in the top 15.
Captain Joe Ashby, a senior, finished 21st overall and indicated some uncertainty before the race in regards to where they would finish. “Going into the meet we weren’t really sure if we would win because we know that Colby [College] and Husson [University] have really strong programs,” Ashby said. “But we were there to run hard and compete.” Improving on their times was the main focus of practice in the weeks leading up to the meet but actually winning the meet became the overall goal. “We are training really hard for times but at the end of the day, we are here to win the NAC [North Atlantic Conference],” Ashby said.
Coach Sean Cabaniss said through the teams Instagram page that the men’s win was the “first time since 2018.” Cabaniss also said on the page that many of the team members individually had great races with “PR’s[personal records] almost across the board.”Ashby also recognized the efforts of each runner. “We have a really strong team this year. With NAC’s being at a difficult course this year, [Saturday October 30th hosted by Thomas College] we really want to win.”
Ashby knows that even with the recent success, challenges still remain ahead. “Winning is never easy. We weren’t the smallest team there but I do think we were the second smallest.” One major challenge to winning each race is the team size. “It’s hard when you have a bunch of other runners to displace your guys,” Ashby said.
But with any success comes a sense of pride. Ashby recognizes the overall accomplishment of the team. “To win was a great feeling because I don’t think we have won a meet in quite a few years.”
The Cross Country teams will have their next two meets Saturday October 2nd [hosted by Bates] and Saturday October 23 [hosted by Bowdoin] before competing in the NAC championship on October 30th.