CROSS COUNTRY | XC races to the finish

The blistering cold temperatures of Harvard-Yale weekend stretched all the way to the Bronx, N.Y., where the men’s and women’s cross-country teams ran their final races of the season.

On Nov. 22 both teams competed against schools from throughout the East Coast at Van Cortlandt Park, with the men’s team placing seventh overall in the 100th annual IC4A Championships and the women’s team finishing 10th in the ECAC Championships. Although Anne Lovelace ’12 noted that the seasons’ overall results were not necessarily representative of the groups’ ability, members from both teams said they were generally happy with the season finale.

“I think we just wanted a solid last race,” captain Kelli Buck ’09 said. “We’ve worked hard all year, and we wanted to pull it all together and have a great last race. It was a good end to the season.”

Buck led the Bulldogs in the five-kilometer race, finishing 38th in 19:01. Bevin Peters ’09 followed next with a 43rd-place, 19:05 finish. Jennifer Downing ’12 (51st, 19:15), Lovelace (56th, 19:20) and Stephany Reaves ’10 (58th place, 19:23) rounded out Yale’s team. This left the team with a 22-second spread and a final score of 234 points.

Team members described the course as challenging, and although the team has run that same course before — both in the Ivy League Championships and the regional championships — several members said that the cold weather had an impact on the team’s overall performance.

“It was absolutely freezing, so that was a challenge for everyone who ran,” Buck said.

Lovelace added, “I didn’t have my best race of the season. I thought it was a good place to end mentally, though, going into the track season.”

The team’s main strategy was to stay in a group as they ran, which the captain says they achieved.

Cornell won the championship with a total of 67 points, followed closely by Harvard, who finished with 79 points. Nicole Cochran of Harvard came in first overall with a time of 18:04.

In the men’s five kilometer race, Murat Kayali ’09 led the team with his 13th-place win, finishing in 25:41. The team managed to achieve their goal of “sticking together and testing [themselves]” with the next four Yalies completing the course within 25 seconds of each other. Jake McKenzie ’12 led the group with a final result of 34th, 26:00, followed by Max Brown ’10 (43rd, 26:07), Nathan Richards ’12 (51st, 26:13) and Max Walden ’11 (58th, 26:23).

Captain Jake Gallagher ’09 said he was satisfied with the final outcome of the meet.

“I thought it was a good result,” he said. “We didn’t run our whole team — we [have already] raced the biggest meets, so we only wanted our healthiest guys out there. It was a good note to end the season on.”

Freshman standout McKenzie said that the IC4A Championships were one of his highlights of the season. He said that the course was “probably his favorite” due to the long tradition and history of the cross country course.

“For me, at least it was probably one of my best meets of the year,” McKenzie said. “I ran a lot faster than I did at the [Heptagonal Championships]. I feel like I was able to redeem myself.”

Duke won the meet with an overall score of 48 points, while Duquesne senior Josh Eddy took the individual title with a time of 25:11.

Members of both teams said they looked forward to the upcoming track season and next year’s cross country competitions. Lovelace expressed disappointment about some of this season’s results, but remained positive about improvements for the next season.

“I don’t think a lot of the results from the meets reflect the full potential of our team,” she said. “But we’re working really well as a team now.”

The track season will begin in the new year with the Yale Invitational at Coxe Cage in early January.

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