2019 men's cross country season preview

Lucas Wright '21 (Brett Hull photo)
Lucas Wright '21 (Brett Hull photo)

Hamilton College opens the 2019 men's cross country season with its own Short Course Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7. The 10-team meet includes Utica College, SUNY Oneonta, Ithaca College, SUNY Cortland, St. John Fisher College, Nazareth College, SUNY Brockport, and Division II programs Le Moyne College and Roberts Wesleyan College. The men's race starts at 11:30 a.m.

The Continentals' 20-man roster features seven seniors and nine first-year runners. Hamilton captured the team title in all three meets hosted by the Continentals in 2018, and they finished 14th out of 45 teams at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Region Championships.

There was no sophomore slump for Lucas Wright '21 last season. Wright was Hamilton's top finisher at the regional meet in 40th place and went on to compete at the 2019 NCAA indoor and outdoor track & field championships in the 800-meter run.

Three other Continentals joined Wright in the top 100 at the 2018 regional meet. Bryce Murdick '20 (50th), Nick Lyon '22 (91st) and Max Steffey '22 (94th) all return as six of the seven athletes who ran at regionals are back this year. The others are Peter Ross '20 and Chris Skeldon '20.

Murdick took third place and Steffey was fourth in last year's short course invitational at Hamilton. The Continentals placed five runners in the top 10 in the 2018 Hamilton Invitational including Wright leading the way in second place. Murdick was fourth, Skeldon was right behind in fifth place, Ross grabbed seventh place and Lyon rounded out the top 10 finishers.

The Hamilton Invitational is on Oct. 5 and the Short Course Tuneup is scheduled for Oct. 26. The Continentals travel to meets hosted by Williams, the University of Rochester and St. Lawrence University. The NESCAC championships are at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts, regionals are at St. Lawrence and the national championships are at EP Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky.