The men’s and women’s cross country teams both captured first place overall finishes in the Keene State Cross Country Invitational. In addition to the team titles, both squads had key individuals pace the field.

The women's team was led once again by Emily Bryson ’19, who took home the top individual spot in the meet. Trailing a few places behind her was Julia Bryson ’19, who finished in fourth with a time of 18:51, which was one minute and 13 seconds behind Emily. The Bryson sisters have been true leaders for this incredibly talented squad. They are consistently dependable and have showed no signs of slowing down this season.

After the Bryson sisters, Niahm Kenney ’21 and Danielle Bertaux ’20 placed sixth and seventh, with stellar times of 19:16 and 19:19, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 for the Judges was Kyra Shreeve ’18 whose time of 19:48 was good for 10th place. While the team has proven runners leading the charge, it is clearly in good shape moving forward, given its immense depth of talent.

The last two runners in the top seven for the team were Doyin Ogundiran ’19 and Christine Minor ’19. Ogundiran and Minor recorded 11th and 18th places with times of 19:55 and 20:15. The team’s overall first-place finish was 24 points better than second place Colby College. Third place went to Clark University, closely followed by the fourth-place hosts, Keene State College. Rounding out the top five for the overall team event was Southern Vermont College.

The squad has had an excellent run so far in this early campaign. The team finished in third place out of 40 teams at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Invitational on Sept. 16. That was preceded by a first place overall finish at the Wellesley College Invitational on Sept. 1. This team simply cannot be stopped.

Like their female counterparts, the men’s squad performed exceptionally well at the meet. Leading them to a first place overall finish was Ryan Stender ’18 who completed the race in 25:46, which gave him the individual title. Stender had previously captured four second-place finishes and two third-place finishes, but this was his first-ever solo victory. As a veteran, Stender has been a dependable force over the years and this season has been no exception.

Also representing the senior class was Mitchell Hutton ’18 who finished just 17 seconds behind Stender as he finished in second place. Behind Hutton for the Judges were first-years Luke Ostrander ’21 and Mark Murdy ’21. Ostrander finished in fifth place after a time of 26:31, and Murdy’s time of 26:40 gave him a seventh-place finish.

After the first-years were two seniors in Liam Garvey ’18 and Max Whitmore ’18. Garvey, in his first race of the season, earned a ninth-place finish with a time of 26:45, while Whitmore’s time of 26:58 gave him the 11th place finish. Brian Gao ’20 came in at 17th place with a time of 27:23.

Veteran Christ Castro ’18 remarked that while the conditions of the meet were difficult, the “race at Keene State was a great step forward for the Brandeis XC team despite the horrid weather conditions. Several members of the team opened up with great performances and we are looking forward to improving in the next upcoming weeks.”

The team’s first-place finish followed strong performances at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational and Wellesley College Invitational. At UMass, the squad finished in second out of 40 teams, while they took home the top overall title at Wellesley College.

The Judges will next be in action on Oct. 14 at the Connecticut College Invitational. At the same meet last year, the women’s team finished fifth out of 21 teams, while the men also earned a fifth-place finish. After traveling to Connecticut College, both squads will be going to the University Athletic Association  Championships on Oct. 28 in Woodland Park, New Jersey.