BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a third-place finish at the conference meet and a strong showing at the NCAA regional championships last fall, the Babson College men's cross country team is poised for a breakthrough campaign in 2017.
Under the direction of 14-year head coach Russ Brennen, the men's team posted the program's lowest point total (96) in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) history, and matched the 2002 squad for the best finish at a league meet. The Beavers also had three runners post personal-best times as it equaled its best result in two decades by coming in 16th at the NCAA New England Championships last November.
RISING TO THE TOP
After posting back-to-back victories in a pair of early season races, junior Matthew Dynan (Reading, Mass.) made history with his fourth-place finish at the conference meet. He recorded the best result by a Babson runner in the NEWMAC era, and his finish was the best since Jeff Shaw '95 came in third at the Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship in 1995. Dynan followed it up by posting a personal-best time of 25:33 to finish 38th at the 8k NCAA regional meet.
The Beavers' five-man senior class of Scott Atwood (West Newbury, Mass.), Ryan Colaco (Danville, Calif.), John Decker (Parkland, Fla.), Jonathan Martin (Valrico, Fla.) and Jonathan Miller (Westford, Mass.) has been a big part of the programs improvement over the last three years. Decker (26:01) and Atwood (27:20) both posted the best times of their careers at the NCAA New England Championship, while Miller placed 26th at the NEWMAC Championship late last fall.
MAKING THEIR MARK
Sophomores Samir Arora (Fremont, Calif.) and Nick Virkler (Lincoln, Mass.), who recorded his best time of the year at the 2016 conference meet, both had strong rookie seasons, while juniors Austin Henry (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) and Jake Fishkin (Hagerstown, Md.) are both experienced runners that give the Green and White one of its deepest teams in recent memory.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
In addition to running at UMass Dartmouth and Connecticut College, the Beavers will compete in the Rensselaer Invitational and the Saint Joseph's Runnin' Monks Invitational for the first time in school history this fall. The NEWMAC Championship is slated for October 29 at Franklin Park in Boston, while the NCAA regional meet returns to Gorham, Maine, for the first time since 2013.