Following over a month of races, the Boston University men’s cross country team’s regular season has come to a close. Capped off by personal bests from both returning runners and fresh faces, the Terriers have made the most of their season and look to carry that momentum into the postseason
The men’s team opened their season on Friday, Sept. 2 at the Suffolk Short Course Classic. This 5K race took place on a sunny afternoon at Franklin Park, and BU’s young talent shined.
Freshman Charlie Tuttle came in sixth place overall and led the Terriers with a 15:45.4. Not far behind him, freshman Glenn Bell placed 11th at 16:00.6. Junior Spencer Twyman, sophomore Drew Fenton and senior Kathan Shenoy rounded out the rest of Boston University’s top five. Fenton posted a new personal record, improving his freshman 5K time by over 10 seconds.
All four Division I schools competing in the race placed in the top four. With a final score of 72, the Terriers finished third in a field of 15. Only Northeastern University, with 15 points, and Brown University, with 56 points, scored lower.
Three weeks later, the Terriers were given a second chance at the same course for Boston College’s Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. Featuring an 8K and an open 5K race, this meet hosted 15 teams from across the East Coast. Boston came in sixth place in the 8K, led by senior Mike Hagen’s 27th-place finish. Freshman Parker Schneider finished closely behind at spot 33. Schneider’s 24:59 effort earned him the honor of Patriot League Male Rookie of the Week.
“I came from an extremely small high school, so we didn’t have many runners at all,” Schneider said. “[It has been] just a big shift from running mostly by myself to working as a team.”
In the open 5K, graduate student Aksel Laudon crossed the finish line first overall. Also noteworthy, two freshmen placed in the top 14 — Tucker Bowerfind and Glenn Bell. Laudon’s 15:31.5 earned him his first collegiate top overall finish and a new personal best.
“Regardless of the size of the race, getting to run at the front of a race and win is a fun experience,” Laudon said. “It’s also a confidence booster that keeps you motivated during the race and moving forward with training after that. The main thing is having all these years of training underneath me and just finally having the opportunity to be able to put it together.”
That following week, the Terriers took a trip to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for Lehigh University’s Paul Short Invite. Encompassing over 450 schools and 5,500 runners, this meet highlighted a wide range of talent. Boston finished in the top half of the Men’s Gold 8K race, placing 19th out of 46 teams.
Cross country differentiates from traditional sports in that even if the team does not finish top three, individual runners can still have standout races. In this case, they did, with all 10 Terriers in the event running personal bests.
Leading the pack, junior Matthew Mason placed 102nd in a pool of 416 with a 24:03.4. Schneider, senior Foster Malleck, freshman Freddy Collins and graduate student Marcel Aubry finished off BU’s top five. Schneider’s performance earned him his second Patriot League Male Rookie of the Week honor.
“[The award] wasn’t big to me right away,” Schneider said. “But looking at it now, the size of our conference, what we’re looking to do at our Patriot League meet next weekend, it means a lot to me actually.”
In the open 8K, Laudon placed 13th in a field of 533, which put him in the top 3% of runners. Bell earned a personal best, placing 44th. Only eight freshmen placed higher.
Finishing off the season, BU participated in a pair of meets on Saturday, Oct. 15. In the morning, seven Terriers raced in the University of Virginia’s Panorama Farms Invitational. As a team, they finished 12th out of 17 with 348 points. Once again, freshmen led the way. Collins crossed the 8K finish line first for BU, placing 51st out of 176, and Schneider followed less then 14 second later.
“The freshman class has done a lot for our group overall,” associate head coach John Carpenter said. “It’s pushed and challenged our returners to certainly continue to work hard as they’ve done, but also to show them what’s possible.”
During the afternoon, another seven Terriers raced to a dominant first-place finish at the Suffolk Invitational. Racing against competition of all ages, freshman Moritz Ebbeskotte placed first overall in the 8K, posting a 25:33.6 finish. BU placed all seven scoring runners within the top 11 spots of the race.
The Terriers’ postseason will open at the Patriot League Championship in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on Oct. 29. Loaded with both veteran and freshman talent, they look forward to the challenge ahead.
“We’re in a spot on the men’s side that I don’t know that we’ve been in, in a while. We’re going to toe the line, thinking that we have a real shot to come home with a Patriot League championship,” Carpenter said. “If we run our race and we perform the way that we know we can, we can beat anyone at that meet.”