Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Race to Pennsylvania, Return With Top-Five Finishes

The Mammoths returned to the course this past weekend, with both the Men’s and Women’s cross country teams traveling to Lehigh University for the Paul Short Run. Both teams experienced great success, finishing in the top five, and individual runners logged impressive top-20 times.

This past weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to race in the 47th Annual Paul Short Run against both Division I and Division III competition. Both teams performed extremely well overall, with the men’s team placing third out of 41 teams competing, and the No. 12 ranked women’s team placing fourth overall out of the 39 teams at the event.

In the Men’s Brown 8K, the team was paced by senior co-captain Billy Massey ’22, who came across the finish line with a time of 24:58.6, good for a blazing fast average mile pace of 5:01.5 on the day and a ninth place finish. Owen Daily ’23 was the next Mammoth to cross the line with a time of 25:16.8, followed closely by Ajay Sarathy ’22, who finished 15 seconds later with a time of 25:33.2 in 32nd place. Theo Dassin ’24 and Oliver Spiva ’24 rounded out the scoresheet for the Mammoths, finishing in 25:45.5 and 26:03.8 respectively, good for 56th and 76th places. Overall, the team came across the line with an average 8K time of 25:32, a great mark for the team in a race against stiff competition.

However, the team isn’t resting on their laurels. Massey said about the race, “[It was a] good first 8K for the team and especially for the sophomores and freshmen, who ran their first ever [collegiate] 8K. Our team has a lot of work to do in terms of getting healthy and in competitive form. That being said, this was a better performance than a lot of us anticipated so we’re looking forward to building off of it.

Amherst runners’ success on the course didn’t end with the men’s team; the women’s team notched results just as impressive as those of their counterparts. The first Mammoth to cross the line in the Women’s Brown 6K event was first-year Sidnie Kulik ’25, who finished the race in 16th place with a time of 21.43.1, with an average mile pace of 5:49.2. She was followed closely by Mary Kate McGranahan ’23, who claimed 24th place out of 342 runners with a time of 21:56.7 and Julia Schor ’25, who sprinted to a 22:22.9 mark and finished 48th overall. Also making the Mammoths’ scoresheet were Sophia Price ’25 and Eline Laurent ’22 with times of 22:27.3 and 23:04.2 and secured 52nd and 104th places.

In thinking about her team’s race, McGranahan emphasized a lot of the same points that Massey did. Of the race, she said, “Paul Short is always a really exciting meet for us because we get to race a lot of great Division I and national Division III talent, [and] the race went really well for us! It was a lot of people’s first 6K and the freshmen handled the longer distance [6K] really well, especially in a huge field of runners… [It was] overall just a really fun fast race, and a great way to carry us into the second part of our season as we head into more serious competition.” Evidently both teams are using their success as a jumping off point for the rest of their seasons, and it is clear that both teams have a bright future ahead.

Next up for both the men’s and women’s teams is the Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 16. The races are slated to start at 11:00 a.m. at Harkness Park in Waterford, Conn.