With a blank slate and a new season immediately ahead of it, the Boston University cross country team competed in the Bryant University Invitational Saturday, its first meet of the season, and saw many of its members deliver standout performances.
Sophomore Rich Peters stood tall above the rest as he finished first in a field of 98 runners, one of several impressive performances from an array of Terriers going against some of the nation’s top squads.
“It was a good opener for the people we brought down,” said cross country head coach Bruce Lehane. “It was a strong competition down there – Providence College is one of the strongest teams around and so is Northeastern [University].”
Peters finished with a time of 15:00.04 to claim the race’s top honors, but the win didn’t come without some tense moments as Peters held off Northeastern’s Eric Jenkins by less than a second.
Lehane noted that Peters’ extraordinary ability to finish a race strong was a large factor in his achievement Saturday.
“He has very good closing speed,” Lehane said. “He’s run the mile in 3:58 and he knows he has that card in his hand and he knows he can run well at the end of races.”
Peters’ win was just one of many moments of hope and promise for the cross country team over the weekend, as the Terriers had four of their 14 runners finish in the top 20 in their respective races.
Senior Peter Gilmore finished in eighth place with a time of 15:31.00, and seniors Craig McPhearson and Joe Greenspun also notched top-20 finishes in 16th and 19th place, respectively.
Other BU runners that finished among the race’s top-60 finishers included freshman Aaron Somoroff (31st), junior Mike Caputo (42nd), freshman Zach Marriot (52nd), freshman Ben Ravetz (53rd), senior Chris Mercurio (54th), sophomore Tom Waterman (56th), sophomore Brian Greenfield (58th) and freshman Matt Solomon (60th).
The 14 runners who represented BU did not include the entirety of the team and Lehane said that he had to hold out three or four people because of “minor injuries.”
The team will now have to prepare for its next race, which will come Sept. 24 when the Terriers travel to nearby Franklin Park for the Codfish Bowl.
With one race now already behind his team, Lehane will now look to get a better feel for his runners and make necessary adjustments going forward.
“The start of the season you’re just getting your feet wet, getting a first look,” he said. “There will be a lot of changes before the season ends.”