Men’s cross country team puts its best foot forward in 5k opener at Trinity

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Men’s cross country team puts its best foot forward in 5k opener at Trinity

Anthony Patrinos (left) and Jason Beaver (right) side by side in mid race action. 

Anthony Patrinos (left) and Jason Beaver (right) side by side in mid race action. 

Anthony Patrinos (left) and Jason Beaver (right) side by side in mid race action. 

Anthony Patrinos (left) and Jason Beaver (right) side by side in mid race action. 

Ryan LaFrance, Staff Writer

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The men’s cross country team won a narrow victory at their first away meet of the season, hosted by Trinity College. AIC defeated Trinity with a final score of 39-40.

On the morning of Saturday, September 7, the American International College men’s cross country team traveled south for their opening meet of the 2019 season. Trinity College hosted the meet at Wickham Park in Manchester, Connecticut, located just outside of Hartford. The five-kilometer course consisted of many hills and featured varied terrain, including grassy fields as well as wooded sections. The weather stayed partly sunny with a fall breeze in the air.

The event began at 11:10 a.m., when the race official shot the gun and a pack of runners charged up a hill and into the woods. The field was made up of eight teams with a total of eighty-six individuals racing. Half-way through the race, it was clear that three teams were battling for the win with only two points separating Franklin Pierce University (39), Trinity College (40) and American International College (41).

AIC’s team pulled together late in the race. Team members finished strong by out-sprinting runners from Trinity College, which allowed AIC to sneak the victory by only one point, with a final score of 39 to 40. Franklin Pierce University came in third with 48 points.

Titus Kiptoo strides up the hill in 1st position leading to his victory.

Individually strong performances were displayed by many members of the team, including Titus Kiptoo. Kiptoo won the race with a time of 15:51. After the race, Kiptoo reflected, “The course was actually very challenging. It was the was hills that were very tough… I was a bit scared of my competitor because my coach warned me he was a strong runner.”

The next Yellow Jacket to cross the finish was Ryan LaFrance, who finished seventh with a time of 16:54.  Right behind him was Sadadine Adam in eighth, with a time of 16:57. AIC had six individuals in the top fifteen positions, including Jason Beaver (eleventh at 17:05), Antony Patrinos (twelfth at 17:08), and Clement Paillon (thirteenth at 17:09). Other finishers for the Yellow Jackets included Chris Dias (18:28), Vanison Showell (18:46), Josiah Johnson (19:17), Virginio Monteiro (19:24), and Armando Martinez Jr. (19:41).

Some key members of the team did not compete in the meet. Instead, they prepared for future competitions. One of these individuals was captain Benoit Campion. Campion said, “I am very proud of my teammates. This first win is the result of the consistent summer training and hard work we did during our pre-season.” He continued, “This is the first step of a long cross country season and we will keep working very hard to improve together and compete at every race with high ambitions… I am very excited since the incredible energy of the freshman and the experience of the returning students have already created a perfect mix that should lead us to great results this season.”

It is a promising start to the season. The team has won three of the last five Conference and Regional Championships and has qualified for the national stage for the past five consecutive years. They will look to improve upon previous years. There should be more in store as the season progresses for the American International College men’s cross country team.

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