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Amherst College Cross Country / Track and Field 2019 - 2020 Season Recap

While the season ended earlier than we expected, we couldn't be more proud of everything the team accomplished together during the cross country and track and field seasons before we had to go our separate ways.

Cross Country

Pre-Season

Before the season got started, the cross country team enjoyed a few team bonding activities, including a brunch after a Sunday long run, an afternoon volunteering at our Book & Plow farm on campus, and helping the firstyears move in.

Little III Championships

The first meet of the 2019 season was the Little III Championships, hosted by Wesleyan. Though the race distances were shorter than the usual cross country race distances of 6k and 8k for the women and men, respectively, the team used the meet as an opportunity to shake the rust off from a strong summer of training.

The men placed second and the women placed third, starting the season off on a nice note. The meet was also the first time the firstyears competed as Mammoths!

Purple Valley Classic

Gigi Chrappa and Maggie Drew (L-R)

The next meet was the Purple Valley Classic, hosted by Williams College. The meet ran on the same course that would be used at the NESCAC Championships, giving the team a great opportunity to race on the course they would compete on a little more than one month later to race for the conference title. The men placed 5th and the women placed 6th in strong fields in the first race over the typical cross country race distance, which is 8k for men and 6k for women.

Some highlights for the men included a great first 8k race for firstyear Keon Mazdisnian, who finished as our fourth Mammoth. Additionally, Will Merhige returned to racing for the first time in one year after injuries!

For the women, Paige Reddington and Sarah Gayer both ran great races, as they both passed several runners throughout the race and improved upon their finishes at the meet from 2018 by 23 and 39 places, respectively.

Paul Short Invitational

Owen Daily fighting to the finish line

The next race on the schedule was the Paul Short Invitational, a meet known for its fast course and great competition. We saw nine Mammoths set personal bests, as Sarah Gayer, Eline Laurent, Jenny Mazzella, Spencer Ferguson-Dryden, Braxton Schuldt, Jamie Mazzola, Owen Daily, Billy Massey and Lev Robertson improved upon their previous best time!

The men placed 36th in their race with mostly Division I teams, and the women placed twentieth in their race in a strong field of teams from all three divisions.

Spencer Ferguson-Dryden and Sarah Gayer led the Mammoths, and each broke significant time barriers for their respective race distances, as Spencer broke 25 minutes, and Sarah broke 22 minutes.

Connecticut College Invitational

The next meet for the Mammoths was the Connecticut College Invitational, a meet featuring a strong field of Division III teams from across the nation.

Mia Rahn

The women competed well in a strong field, and placed 11th. We saw two significant personal bests set in the 6k by Isabella Landry and Jenny Mazzella!

Isabella Landry

The men placed ninth in a strong field, fighting through a densely packed course.

Billy Massey, pictured, had a great race, stepping up as the second Mammoth across the finish line, and tied his personal best set two weeks prior. Braxton Schuldt lost his shoe, stopped to put it back on, and fought his way through the entire race and rallied to finish as the third Mammoth. And on his birthday, Aydin Williams set a personal best!

After the race, the team enjoyed the beautiful race course and the ocean.

NESCAC Championships

The teams gather before the gun goes off

The men worked together during the race, trusting each other to propel them to a great race.

The men executed their race plan extremely well, as nearly every man moved up throughout the race, and helped the team along the way!

The men had a great race, placing second as a team! This marked the fifth consecutive year in which the men have either won or placed second at the NESCAC Championships, a fantastic display of team strength and depth.

The men were led by Spencer Ferguson-Dryden, who placed 14th and earned All-NESCAC honors. Not far behind him were Braxton Schuldt, Billy Massey and Jamie Mazzola, who placed 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively. Owen Daily placed 31st and entered the Mammoths top-five for the first time, coming up clutch!

Every single woman on the team successfully executed their race plan, as they all moved up the field throughout the race and finished in a lower place finish than they were at at the first mile mark.

Senior Kristin Ratliff (pictured) was the fourth Mammoth to cross the finish line, placing 45th!

Coming back from mid-season injuries, Olivia Polischeck rallied to finish as the third Mammoth, placing 33rd!

Sarah Gayer and Sophie Wolmer (L-R) led the Mammoths placing 23rd and 24th, respectively. For Sarah, it was her highest place finish at the NESCAC Championships by nearly 30 places, and Sophie had a fantastic first championship race and was the third highest placing firstyear in the race!

The women finished in 7th place in a very deep field, as they were only 10 points from the 5th place team. For the women it was their best race yet, and set the stage for an exciting race at Regionals!

NCAA New England Regional Championships

With a trip to the Division III Cross Country National Championships on the line, the NCAA New England Regional Championships was an important meet for the Mammoths. On a cold day in Brunswick, Maine the Mammoths brought their all, and were cheered on by many teammates who made the trip to cheer!

Like they did all season, the men executed their race plan and gradually moved up the field. Spencer Ferguson-Dryden led the team as he did all season, placing 11th for his highest place finish ever at the meet. Billy Massey was the second runner, placing 21st and Braxton Schuldt was the third runner, placing 24th. By placing in the top-35, they all earned All-Region honors for the first time!

Braxton, Spencer and Billy (L-R) celebrating their All-Region honors

Firstyear Keon Mazdisnian had a fantastic race as the Mammoths fourth runner, placing 39th, narrowly missing All-Region honors. Jamie Mazzola rounded out the Mammoths top-five, placing 43rd. Ajay Sarathy and Owen Daily rounded out the Mammoths finishers, as they placed 45th and 46th, respectively.

The men placed 4th in a deep field, and earned their sixth consecutive team qualification for Nationals!

The women had their best race of the season, and they all ran with heart and grit in a very strong field.

Sophie Wolmer led the team for the first time all season, placing 23rd and set a twenty second personal best as well! Sarah Gayer also had a great race, placing 26th, improving upon her best finish at the meet by 70 places. They both earned All-Region honors for the first time!

Sarah and Sophie (L-R) celebrating their All-Region honors

Olivia Polischeck was the Mammoths third runner, placing 42nd and was less than a second off her personal best, set on the course at Bowdoin a year prior. Jenny Mazzella closed out her cross country career in style, placing 89th in her first time racing at Regionals, and set a personal best by 9 seconds. Isabella Landry was right behind her in 91st, and also set a personal best!

Kristin Ratliff and Mary Kate McGranahan wrapped up the Mammoth line up, as they placed 96th and 107th, respectively.

The women wrapped up their season with a 8th place finish, less than 10 points behind the 6th place team, which was selected to go to Nationals. The women had a fantastic season, and with five of the top-seven returning in 2020, the future is bright for the Mammoths.

NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships

The men's team travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to compete at the Division III Cross Country National Championships, held at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.

Like he did all season, senior Spencer Ferguson-Dryden (pictured) led the team, placing 59th on a muddy day in Louisville. He improved upon his best finish at Nationals by more than 50 places!

The race marked the Nationals debut for juniors Braxton, Ajay and Jamie (L-R above). Braxton closed out a breakout season, breaking 26 minutes for the fourth time and Ajay ran a season best time.

Billy Massey ended an awesome season on a great note, competing at Nationals for the first time and finished as the second Mammoth. Additionally, he finished in a time of 25:30, marking the fourth time during the season he ran either 25:29 or 25:30, a remarkable display of consistency.

Firstyear Keon Mazdisnian (pictured) got valuable Nationals experience, ending his season as one of a few firstyears competing at the National Championships.

Sophomore Owen Daily also competed at Nationals for the first time, and finished as the fifth Mammoth.

The men finished in 23rd place as a team, and we couldn't be prouder!

We return six of our top-seven for 2020, and bring back Nationals alternates Braedon Fiume and Matt Bradley as well, giving the Mammoths a bright future for years to come!

Track & Field

Pre-Season

During Interterm, the team had a great time getting to know each other doing fun activities like bowling, laser tag, playing Minute to Win It games, and goofed around on Media Day.

Little III Championships

Winning the meet required a team effort, and the Mammoths did just that in their first meet of the year. Henry Buren and Nehemiah McGowan placed first and second, respectively, in the 60 and 200 meter dash. Henry set the school record in the 60 meter dash, running a time of 7.00 seconds! Spencer Ferguson-Dryden won the mile leading gun to tape and Ryan Prenosil won the 800.

Troy Colleran won the high jump and placed second in the pole vault on misses while setting a significant personal best. Jordan Edwards won the triple jump, and firstyear Kelechi Eziri placed second in both the triple and long jump.

Victories in the 4x800 and 4x400 meter relays were crucial to win the meet, and the Mammoths delivered! The team of Will Spurrell, Alfred Kibowen, Braedon Fiume and Spencer Ferguson-Dryden won the 4x800 relay. The 4x400 team of Ben Wadsworth, Ellis Phillips-Galucci, Matt Gelin and Ryan Prenosil won the meet concluding 4x400, as Ryan brought the team home to victory with a dominating last 200 meters.

The women had a great meet, placing second and scored more points than they have in recent years!

Annelise Romero won the triple jump with a personal best jump! Ella Rossa won the 60 meter hurdles, and Juanita Jaramillo won the 400 meter dash! Sam Tichelaar placed second in the 200 and Jenny Mazzella placed second in the 800. Sophie Wolmer, in her first track race as a Mammoth, placed a strong second in the 1,000 meters.

Both the 4x400 and 4x800 relays placed second, closing out the meet on a nice note!

We saw 20 Mammoths earn D3 New England Championships qualifying marks, a great way to start the season and a great display of team strength.

Mary Grinaker Invitational

The meet started with a school record, as Nehemiah McGowan ran a time of 6.98 seconds in the 60 meter dash!

In the final, Henry Buren took back his school record, running a time of 6.97 seconds and won the race!

In addition to the twelve Mammoths who earned new personal bests in their events, we added 3 more D3 New England Championships qualifiers!

Upstate Challenge

The two-day meet at Cornell began with the multi events, where Troy Colleran set a new school record in the heptathlon with 4962 points!

Firstyear Kelechi Eziri set a school record in the triple jump with a jump of 46' 2.75" (14.09 meters) and Ella Rossa set a school record in the 60 meter hurdles, running a time of 8.88 seconds!

In addition to the 18 Mammoths who earned new personal bests, we added five more D3 New England Championships qualifiers!

Branwen Smith-King Invitational

In a great day for the 600, Ryan Prenosil won the 600 and set a meet record with his time of 1:21, putting him fourth all-time at Amherst in the event! Katie Lingen ran 1:38 in the 600, putting her fifth all-time at Amherst!

It was an exciting day in the 3k as well, as five Mammoths set personal bests in the event!

14 Mammoths set personal bests and 8 Mammoths earned D3 New England Championships qualifying marks, and the Mammoths couldn't have been happier!

Tufts Cupid Challenge and Blue & Orange Multi

At Tufts, the women's 4x200 relay won, running a time of 1:46 that made them third all-time in school history!

Nehemiah McGowan took back the school record in the 60 meter dash in the prelims in a time of 6.96 seconds, and brought it down even more in the semifinals, running a time of 6.92 seconds! Henry Buren won the final in a time of 6.96 seconds, and Nehemiah placed second narrowly behind him, also in a time of 6.96 seconds!

At the Blue & Gold Invitational at Utica College, Annelise Romero set a personal best in the pentathlon, and Max Spelke set a personal best in the heptathlon!

17 Mammoths set personal bests and four more Mammoths qualified for the D3 New England Championships!

David Hemery Valentine Invitational

Maggie Drew set a personal best in the mile, among several other personal bests set in the mid-distance and distance events!

Ella Rossa broke her school record in the 60 hurdles again, running a time of 8.87 seconds!

The women's 4x400 of Juanita Jaramillo, Katie Lingen, Sam Tichelaar and Anna Madden set the school record, running a time of 3:54!

Henry Buren broke his own school record in the 200, running a time of 21.92 seconds!

The men's 4x400 of Kyland Smith, Stanley Dunwell, Ellis Phillips-Galucci and Alex Mangiafico ran a season best in the 4x400 in a time of 3:23!

30 Mammoths set personal bests and four more Mammoths qualified for the D3 New England Championships!

Brown Invitational

In a solo effort, the distance medley relay team of Aydin Williams, Ben Wadsworth, Jack Dufton and Owen Daily ran a time fast enough to qualify the men for the fast heat of the event at the D3 New England Indoor Championships! The team cheered them on the whole way

In the last meet of the regular season it was great to see eight Mammoths set personal bests and add one more Mammoth as a qualifier for the D3 New England Championships, for a total of 45 Mammoths qualified for the meet!

D3 New England Championships

Both the men's and women's teams placed 4th at the Division III New England Championships, the highest finish for both the men and women in recent years!

The two-day meet began on Friday with the distance medley relay and heptathlon for the men, and pentathlon for the women.

The men's distance medley relay of Braedon Fiume, Will Spurrell, Ellis Phillips-Galucci and Owen Daily placed third!

Ella Rossa won the pentathlon in a school record, as she earned 3,265 points!

On Saturday, Ella won the 60 hurdles in a personal best time of 8.85 seconds!

Troy Colleran, on the right, won the heptathlon and broke his own school record, earning 5,048 points! Teammate Jack Trent, on the left, set a personal best in his second heptathlon, ending his first track season ever on a high note!

Ryan Prenosil won the 600 in a time of 1:21! Katie Lingen moved up to fourth all-time at Amherst in the 600 with her time of 1:38!

At the end of the meet, the men's 4x800 relay of Braedon Fiume, Spencer Ferguson-Dryden, Will Spurrell and Ryan Prenosil won the 4x800! The men's 4x400 of Kyland Smith, Ellis Phillips-Galucci, Alex Mangiafico and Stanley Dunwell placed sixth!

The women's 4x400 of Anna Madden, Katie Lingen, Juanita Jaramillo and Sophia Friedman placed second! The women's 4x800 of Jordan Bailey-Rhodeman, Rachel Ruderman, Jenny Mazzella and Grace Haase placed fourth!

We couldn't be prouder of all of the Mammoths who competed and contributed to a fantastic team result and the ten Mammoths who set personal bests!

Tufts National Qualifying Meet

The men's distance medley relay of Billy Massey, Stanley Dunwell, Ryan Prenosil and Spencer Ferguson-Dryden won!

With their winning time of 10:01, the relay team qualified for the Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships!

Nehemiah McGowan set a school record in the 60 meter dash, running a time of 6.89 seconds!

With his time, he qualified for the National Championships, an incredible result in his first season of track ever!

The women's 4x400 relay team of Anna Madden, Sam Tichelaar, Katie Lingen and Juanita Jaramillo broke their own school record, running a time of 3:54!

Though they narrowly missed qualifying for the National Championships, the team of all sophomores will return in 2021 eager for success!

NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships Qualifiers

We're so proud of the nine Mammoths who qualified for the National Championships!

Though they weren't able to compete as the meet was cancelled, we're confident that the Mammoths were ready to go.

We're so proud of each and every member of the team! Many thanks to the incredible senior class of 2020 for all of their hard work over the years.

GO MAMMOTHS!