2007 Men's Season Preview

2006 Season Recap
The Jeffs opened the 2006 season by winning the Amherst Invite, and followed up with a fourth-place finish at UMASS-Dartmouth and a runner-up performance at the Tufts Invite. After competing with schools from Divisions I, II and III at the Open New England Championships, the Jeffs hosted Williams College and Wesleyan University in the Little III Championships; despite one of its runners taking the individual crown, Amherst was unable to out-perform the Ephs. The Jeffs closed out the cross country season with a trio of impressive finishes, placing third at the NESCAC and ECAC Championships in consecutive weekends before earning a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships.

Key Losses
The Jeffs lose several runners to graduation, including four of the top 10 finishers in last year’s Amherst Invite. Cooper Knowlton led the class of 2007 with a fourth-place finish in Amherst’s lone victory of the season, while Nate Freese and Rich Wilson were close behind in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Closing out the top 10 was Rob Boley, who missed the 29-minute mark by just four seconds.  

Key Returnees
While the men take some scoring losses from last year, they still return a solid corps of runners. A strong fist-year class last fall has matured tremendously and should have a big impact this year, as sophomores Dan Murner and Carlyle Eubank each ran under 15:10 in the 5k during the track and field season, with Murner winning the DIII New England 10k to go along with being the highest placing first-year at last year’s cross country district meet. Senior Mike Harbus - who is back to full health after struggles last year - will look to close out his cross country career on a high note with a trip to the NCAA championships, while juniors Harrison Lakehomer (last year’s Little III champion) and Peter Foote should factor heavily into the scoring to try and make that happen. In addition to Murner and Eubank, the sophomore class will have gained valuable experience this past year as Jimmy Swanson, Tom Anderson, Eric Holaday, Will Bell and Willy Sego will provide great depth and could jump into the scoring this fall.

Top Newcomers
Several first year runners have posted great track times to close out their high school careers and will be looking to make an impact at the collegiate level, as John McGrail, Peter Harrison, Will Yochum, Ben Mears and Jim Leader will look to make a smooth transition to the five-mile race distance.

Season Outlook
With a solid core of returning runners, Amherst should post another consistent season. Look for the Jeffs to get off to another strong start when they defend their title at the Amherst Invite Sept. 8. The Jeffs will also have their eyes on Nov. 17, when they will hope to get back to the national stage and compete in the NCAA championships.