WATERVILLE, Maine – Colby cross country hosted the Maine State Meet on their home course of Quarry Road, a route notorious for its hilly and challenging terrain. Against a backdrop of fully fledged fall foliage, the Mules took on NESCAC rivals Bates and Bowdoin as well as runners from eight other Division III schools in Maine. Colby ran without one of its top runners, Collins Kibet, but still gave the 17th ranked Bobcats all they could handle, finishing just four points behind Bates (34-38) in the overall team score for second overalln.
The meet went out fast, paced by a big group of Bates and Colby runners, as well as a athlete each from the University of New England and Bowdoin. Behind them, a chase group, mostly comprised of Mules and Bobcats, closely tracked the leaders. As the race thinned up front, Colby first year Tyler Morris (pictured) decided it was time to treat the home crowd. Heading onto the hilliest part of the course, Morris broke from the field, gaining a five second edge that provided some breathing room from the rest of the lead pack. As his lead grew, only teammate Eli Decker was able to chase him down. Decker closed the gap completely just as the two runners entered the finishing straight and, as the two Mules hurtled towards the line, they joined hands for a shared victory.
Morris and Decker tied to win the 8000 meter race in 25:56.8, 12 seconds ahead of third place Bates runner, Eli Boesch-Dining. Colby Sophomore Ewan Frick was just behind in sixth place with a time of 26:29.1, edging a Bowdoin runner by only 0.4 seconds. Max Lessans and Ben Mellor rounded out the scoring for the Mules, finishing in 13th and 16th, respectively.
Although the Mules did not come away with a team victory, individual highlights and a tight race with one of the country's top teams are positive signs for Colby as it move towards its championship season, which starts in November. The team next competes at Connecticut College on October 19th.