HOLMDEL, NJ - Senior Will Mitchell got off to a rough start under muddy conditions, but he still ran 16:27 to help Chatham place 13th overall as a team at the cross-country Meet of Champions held Saturday at Holmdel Park.
As a team, Chatham averaged 17:02.04, the second-fastest time in Cougar history. Chatham came in ranked No. 16 and moved up three places, ahead of Indian Hills, a team it finished behind at the Group 3 meet.
Mitchell placed 39th overall and 21st in team scoring. Liam Hynes, Pat Gesell and Pat Mortensen each established personal records on the Holmdel Park course.
"Our goal was to get here and to showcase our team," Mitchell said. "There was less pressure today than when we qualified. All we did was try to get PRs (personal records) in this race.
"I don't think I had a great race. That was discouraging. It was muddy (at the start of the race), I slipped and stumbled. I grabbed onto my teammate, Pat Mortensen, and he helped me up. It was tough to get around people at that point and get up with the leaders. I wanted to be here with my team. This is truly a team sport."
Hynes ran 17:02 to place 87th and 56th in scoring; Mortensen ran 17:14 in crossing 104th and 72nd in scoring; Gesell also clocked 17:14 in finishing 106th and 73rd. Grant Hauck was 108th and 75th in 17:15. Chatham's Colin Logsdon posted the fourth-fastest freshman time at 17:57. He was 140th and scored in 105th place. David Flynn ran 18:32 to cross at 158/120.
"Over the season, we had a lot of fun," Hauck said. "After we qualified to get here, it was great to run with the best in the state. When I finished, I didn't feel down, I was happy. I had fun with my team today."