The women’s cross country team closed out its second weekend of fall competition with a first-place finish in a field of 16 teams in Saturday’s Spiked Shoe Meet at University Park, Penn.
Just days after earning the No. 25 rank in the nation, the Bulldogs dominated Saturday’s competition with four runners finishing in the top 10 and eight in the top 20. Yale ended the day with 34 points, miles ahead of second-place Indiana University of Pennsylvania (94) and third place Penn State (109). Lindsay Donaldson ’08 broke away from the pack at the three-mile mark and won the race with a time of 21:24, while Katie McKinstry ’07 placed third at 22:04.
“The pack ran pretty conservatively for the first two miles because this was our first 6K of the season,” captain Katie Matlack ’06 said. “By the three-mile mark, we had moved up significantly, and our number three through seven runners finished within 20 seconds of each other.”
Ashley Campbell ’07 attributed the victory to the Elis’ teamwork. The Bulldogs maintained a strong pack formation, and the runners fed off of each others’ energy.
“We worked off each other’s strengths to intimidate those around us and propel us forward,” Campbell said. “The pack really stepped it up this week from our last meet two meets ago. As we continue with our speed training, this should only continue to improve.”
The Elis sent their top 12 runners to Saturday’s race after the rest of the team started the weekend with a trip to the Quinnipiac Invitational and finished sixth out of nine teams.
The Elis ended Friday’s meet with 154 points, behind Marist (115), Boston College (103), Northeastern (92), Columbia (55) and Quinnipiac (41), the host and winner. The first Eli to cross the finish line was Kristin Farley ’09, who placed fourth with a time of 19:16.6, just two seconds behind Quinnipiac’s Jenna Nechamen.
Katie McKinstry ’07 was encouraged by the team’s performance in both races, and praised the contributions of the team’s newest members.
“Overall, the team looked great, but the freshmen deserve the most praise,” McKinstry said. “For the three at Penn State, this was their first 6K, but they still ran really strong races — not just for freshmen but outstanding times in general … additionally, Kristin did an outstanding job and was our first runner at Quinnipiac.”
This weekend will be the Bulldogs’ first and only home race of the season. The Elis will square off against Harvard and Princeton on the Yale Golf Course on Saturday. Yale will be hoping to get some revenge on Princeton, which finished ahead of the Bulldogs in this season’s first meet.
“We’re really looking forward to racing out at the golf course because we train there twice a week and will have lots of fans out to support the team,” Matlack said. “[Harvard-Princeton-Yale] is a competitive race every year, regardless of how anyone looks on paper, because it’s all about Ivy pride.”