The Cardinals will look to the strength of the junior class of 2013 for its depth and leadership heading into the 2011 men's cross country season. Two key members of this squad will be 2010 NCAA qualifier Bryan Marsh '13 (right side photo) and 2010 all-New England performer Skyler Cummins '13 (left side photo). Both are team co-captains in 2011 and had exceptional track seasons during 2010-11, running PRs in the 5000m of 14:38 and 14:44, respectively, that provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Adding to the squad will be Julian Applebaum '13 and middle-distance specialist and XC veteran Austin Cotant 13. Applebaum has run 15:41 for 5000m and Cotant has run 1:59 and 4:04 for the 800m and 1500m. Also returning to form is fellow classmate Sam Roth ’13 (1:56.9/800m) and members of the 2010 varsity, Seth Hafferkamp ’12 (1:58/800m) and Alec Jolicoeur ’14.
In addition to these returners, the incoming freshman class will add to the mix in hopes of helping the men come back stronger and more competitive with their sights on NCAA team qualification.
Last year, with help of the graduated Matt Katz '11, an NCAA qualifier, and Charlie Lang '11, Wesleyan came within a whisker of team qualification for the NCAA Division III Championship for the third time in history. The Cardinals placed in a tie for fifth among 49 teams during the 2010 New England Division III meet. The top four teams were chosen for the NCAA meet. Wesleyan was just five points out of fourth place.
Opening up the 2011 season by hosting the Wesleyan Invitational for the sixth straight season, the Cardinals took the team title for the fifth time, facing a field of six opponents (bottom photo courtesy of Julie Hafferkamp P'12). Wesleyan swept the top five scoring spots for 15 team points. The next closest squad, NESCAC rival Conn. College, was well back with 66 points. Taking the 1-5 slots were Cummins, newcomer Filmon Tekeste '15, Hafferkamp, Applebaum and Cotant. This pack was clumped in a spre ad of just 34 seconds. Cummins' winning time was 27:49.1 over 8k.
During the second event of the season, the New England Open in Boston Sat., Oct. 8, the Cardinals placed 30th of 43 total teams, led by the 67th-place finish of Cummins (26:07) in a field of 282 runners. Cotant was the second Cardinal finisher in 97th place (26:32).
The team will be back in racing mode Sat., Oct. 15 when it travels to Williams for the annual Little Three meet.