New England College hosted the New England Collegiate Conference Cross Country Championship on Saturday, October 23. The pre-championship poll had placed the men’s team coming in at third place, however for the first time in 10 years the team won the championship title.
“It feels amazing, after four years of hard work, bringing something back to the school and making the team known. As team captain it feels amazing just to know that you led the team there together,” said senior cross country runner, Ian Morse.
The team raced at five invitationals this season, facing rough and challenging courses as well as beating some personal records.
“What our team has struggled with over the years is not having enough or being big enough to even score at the championship. Just being able to hold five guys the entire season was one of our biggest, biggest, goals,” said Morse.
Morse emphasized that cross country is one of the sports that faces the challenge of keeping everyone at the same pace as it’s so individualized. Additionally, this season, the team received a new coach.
“The whole coaching style really changed because we received a new coach, so a lot of our training was kind of individualized instead of team-wise. We were training everybody for what they specifically needed, rather than as one team,” said Morse.
There are people on both the Manchester and Henniker campus that are not aware that the either the men’s or women’s cross-country teams exists. Winning the title this year can open doors for the team.
“Recruiting is a huge deal now that we have a championship, we can entice people and bring in other kids that are just as dedicated,” said Morse.