MEDFORD – Disappointed after a seventh-place finish at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship two weeks ago, the Tufts men's cross country team responded with their best race of the season when it mattered most on Saturday.
Tufts placed fifth at the NCAA New England Regional Championship hosted by Bowdoin College and today the finish helped earn the Jumbos an at large berth into next Saturday's (Nov. 17) NCAA Championship Race. Thirty-two teams were selected to participate in the championship overall. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the eight regions, for a total of 16 teams. Sixteen additional teams, including Tufts, were selected at-large.
"We had a really good day," Tufts cross country coach Mike Schmidt said about the Regional. "The group raced with tremendous grit and fought for every point. Even though our sixth and seventh runners did not score, they helped immensely to get the top five runners into the positions they needed to be in. I thought that it put us within reach of NCAA's, and it's great to find out officially."
The NCAA team berth is the first for the Jumbos since 2015 and is their 15th overall. In the 14 prior appearances, Tufts has posted six national top 10 finishes with a best of fifth place in 2005.
Scoring for the Jumbos at the Regional were senior tri-captain Colin Raposo (24th in 25:47.64 for eight kilometers), senior tri-captain Brian Reaney (25th in 25:48 flat), senior Andrew Doherty Munro (28th in 25:49.33), senior tri-captain Dylan Jones (30th in 25:53.26) and senior Hiroto Watanabe (53rd in 26:14.57). Adding to the team performance were sophomore Peter Horvath (26:38.02 for 75th) and senior Rory Buckman (26:40.47 for 77th). That will be the team's line-up at the NCAA Championship, with freshman Jack Cyprus and sophomore Patrick Nero traveling as alternates.
The NCAA Championship finals will be held at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The men's race will begin at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.