Williams' Farwell Named National Coach of the Year
According to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association website, everybody assumed the women's race at this past weekend's NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships was just a coronation for Johns Hopkins once again.
The Blue Jays had won the three previous NCAA title races and had been ranked first in the national coaches poll all season.
"I didn't really expect to beat Johns Hopkins as, fittingly, they were ranked No. 1 and running well," Williams College coach Peter Farwell said. "I didn't even know we had won when the race was over as I was busy with the upcoming men's race. It wasn't until the women's team came running up to me during the men's race to say that we had won that I knew for sure.”
On Tuesday, Farwell picked up a win of his own, being named the USTFCCCA women’s Division III Coach of the Year.
Farwell gave the credit to his runners for their strong finish on Saturday in Winneconne, Wis.
"I was not totally surprised that we won because all of our runners ran their race and they all dug deep and finished strong over the last sixth of the race,” Farwell said. “We don't really talk about winning as we are more focused on running our best and staying with our race plan. I was impressed though by our margin of victory."
Williams scored 81 points and SUNY Geneseo came in second with 179 points.
Williams ran how a championship team should and worked its way up the field. At 2K, the Ephs were in seventh – 250 points behind the leading Blue Jays. By the 5K marker, Williams and Johns Hopkins were tied at 100. When the race ended, the Ephs captured their third national title and dropped their team score to 81 points.
Junior Hannah Cole led Williams with a fourth-place finish. Sophomore Victoria Kingham also finished in the top-15 (11th) and senior Lacey Serletti came in 22nd as all three earned All-America honors for finishing in the top 35 in the field of 280 runners.
This fall the Ephs also won the NCAA New England Regional Championship, the NESCAC Championship, and the Little 3 Championship.
"I have two great assistant coaches in Sarah Lagasse and Nick Lehman and this year we worked on a more collaborative approach and we were able to incorporate some new things into our training and it worked out well,” Farwell said.
This is Farwell's third time being named the National Women's DIII Coach of the Year (2002 & 2004). He also won the men's national honor in 1994 when that Eph team won the school's first NCAA cross country title.
This year with the Eph women finishing first and the Eph men finishing second Williams posted its best-ever combined finish at the NCAA Championship race.
The good news for the Ephs and Farwell is six of the seven runners at this year's NCAA Championship race return next fall.
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