The First Men's Championship Race
NEICAAA Men’s XC Championships
November 16, 1912
Larz Anderson Park, Brookline, MA
Some twenty-five years after hosting their first outdoor championships in 1887, the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) hosted their first cross country championships at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, Ma. on November 16, 1912 A total of seven New England schools answered the call to the 4.6 mile “Over Hill and Dale” challenge in mid-November. The spectator-friendly course began and finished at Technology Field (MIT), but encompassed much of Larz Anderson Park in Brookline and the area of Jamaica Pond. The course décor consisted of long straightaways, hard road, challenging short, steep hills, rough field marsh and meadows that greeted the entrants. Following a highly successful performance at the Stockholm Olympic Games in the Summer of 1912, between his junior and senior year, Brown University senior Norman S. Taber was crowned the first NEICAAA Cross Country champion that Fall, defeating a field of 45 contestants. Taber, who won a Bronze medal (1500 meters) and Gold (3000meter team race) at the Olympic Games, won with a time of 25:31.2, defeating runner-up H.T. Ball of Dartmouth by over six seconds. Post collegiately, Taber would go on to set the world record in the mile of 4:12 3/5 at Harvard on July 16, 1915. Behind Ball, Dartmouth runners finished 3-4-5 and 21st to capture the team title over Brown, 35-50. Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished third with 82 points.
The First Women's Championship Race (1975)
NEICAAA Women’s XC Championships
November 2, 1975
UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA
The first official NEICAAA women’s cross country championships were held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on November 2, 1975. Tufts University senior, Kathy Whitcomb, won by over a minute with a course record time of 17:57. She was followed across the line by Jane Welzel (UMass Amherst) and Jean Crane (Vermont). Finishing forth was Julie LaFreniere, now in her 33rd year as Director of Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country at UMass Amherst. LaFreniere was the second-place finisher for the Minutemen, who won the team title with 36 points, defeating runnerup, Williams College with 51 points. Vermont finished in third place with 58 points. A total of four teams scored and seven additional teams were represented, but posted incomplete scores. There were 40 individuals who finished the inaugural championship race.
Statistical information provided by Larry Newman For the NEICAAA (c) Copyright 2020-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.