MEDFORD – A starting line-up with a vastly different look from last year will lead the Tufts University men's cross country team which opens their 2019 season at the Bates Invitational on Saturday.
Six of the the seven starters from last year's team that finished fifth at the NCAA Regional Championship to earn the program's first NCAA Championship Race berth since 2015 have graduated. However, there's plenty of talent returning and how well the strong depth of the team sorts itself out will define the Jumbos' new season.
Tufts returns returns five seniors to lead the squad, including co-captain Taylor Wurts. He will be joined by classmates Michael Carnavos, Matthew D'Anieri, Roman Lovell and Dylan McEniry in setting a course for the team's young talent to follow.
The junior class includes co-captain Harry Steinberg and features Peter Horvath and Patrick Nero. Horvath is the only returner from last season's NCAA Championship team, as he scored fourth for Tufts with a with a time of 26:28.1 at the national chanpionship event. Nero ran sixth for Tufts in the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship, which Tufts hosted at Franklin Park last fall.
The nine-man sophomore class features several who made contributions as freshmen last fall. John Cyprus placed seventh for the Jumbos at the NESCAC meet and led Tufts in the sub-varsity race at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association championship with an 11th-place finish (26:40.80). Classmate Sam Gatti was close behind him in 13th place with a 26:40.80 mark. Returning sophomore Joseph Harmon (27:04.60) also scored for the Jumbos at that race.
Seven freshmen join the Jumbos this fall.
Tufts, coached by Director of Men's Cross Country Michael Schmidt, are aiming to qualify for NCAA's again and improve upon last season's finish of 25th as a team. They also hope to make a better showing at the conference championship (seventh last year).
Director of Men's Cross Country Michael Schmidt Previews the 2019 Season ...