In the coming weeks, many of the sports teams around Middlebury are squaring off against NESCAC opponents for their respective postseasons. However, the NESCAC season has already concluded for men’s and women’s cross country, and both teams are now turning their attention to regional championships.
The men’s team finished in an impressive third place out of the 11 teams in the NESCAC championships, cementing their status as one of the top teams in the conference behind Williams and Colby and following their second place finish last year. Alec Grionda ’24 led the team with a time of 24:17 in the eight kilometer discipline, shaving over 30 seconds off his personal best. Captain Zander Kessler ’22.5 finished second for the team, outkicking runners from Hamilton and Trinity to take eighth place with a time of 24:28. Ziggy Goddard ’25, Owen Johnson ’26 and Shef West ’26 rounded out the scoring for the Panthers, placing 17th, 40th and 44th, respectively. Luke Lorenz’ 23 and Peter Burke ’24 also performed well, taking sixth and seventh on the team, respectively. The team now turns its attention to their regional championships in Canton, NY, where they finished second last year behind Williams.
The women’s team finished in eighth place out of the 11 competing teams. The result may not have been the one the Panthers were hoping for at the start of the season, but, given the illness-induced absence of star runners Bea Parr ’25 and Victoria Fawcett ’26, the result was one the team can be proud of.
“After our race last week, we had some things we wanted to work on going forward,” said Audrey Grimes ’23, who finished 26th overall. “We wanted to trust our teammates, run as a team and push to the absolute max, and we stepped up in all those aspects.”
Morgane Orcutt ’25 was the first to finish the course, stopping the clock at a fast 22:42 for 25th place. Grimes finished right behind her in 22:44, beating a handful of rivals in the final sprint. Team Captain Kate Kenny ’23, Kate Ratcliffe ’25 and Lucca Franz ’26 scored for the Panthers with 40, 44 and 46 points, respectively. Tatum Peskin ’24 and Josie Dolan ’26 completed the team’s top seven, snatching valuable points away from their competition.
“We did a really good job running as a pack,” Grimes said. “One of the fantastic things about our team is our depth.”
The men’s and women’s cross country teams are next in action on Nov. 12 at the NCAA MidEast Regional Championships.
Charles Crounse '24 (he/him) is the senior sports editor for the Campus. He has previously worked as a writer and staff editor for the section. Charles is pursuing a major in environmental policy and a minor in French, and in his free time he enjoys biking, hiking, and exploring Vermont. He is also a member of the club soccer team on campus.