The course was set up perfectly, but the race results just did not match.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams fell to Harvard this past Friday in the traditional Harvard-Yale dual meet held at Boston’s Franklin Park. The Crimson’s winding home course was the site of a 26-29 and 15-49 defeat for the Bulldogs men’s and women’s teams, respectively.
“We had the disadvantage that Harvard trains on the course, and a lot of us were seeing it for the first time,” Nihal Kayali ’13 said.
The dual meet also included a 5k race for the alumni from both teams, who came out to cheer for their alma maters.
Harvard’s Dan Chenoweth won the men’s 8k race, leading from the start and crossing the line in 24:20. The top runner for the Bulldogs was Conor Dooney ’12, who finished right behind Chenoweth in 24:44. Dooney has emerged as the frontrunner for the Bulldogs this season despite being out for much of his first season last year due to injury.
But it wasn’t just Dooney who seemed to finish one step behind the Cantabs. Yale’s men’s team consistently finished on the heels of its competitors, just barely failing to edge them out. Jeff Perrella ’10 was Yale’s next runner, coming in fourth with a time of 24:47.
After Perella, Elis Demetri Goutos ’13 and Max Walden ’11 finished in sixth (25:02) and seventh (25:10) place, respectively. Julian Sheinbaum ’12 rounded out the Bulldogs’ top five with a 10th place finish in 25:31.
“We were all pretty disappointed,” Dooney said. “We really wanted to win.”
In the women’s race, the Elis also found themselves trailing the Crimson.
The Harvard women’s 15-point finish, a perfect score in cross country, proved too strong a showing for the Bulldogs. Harvard’s Claire Richardson won the 5k race in 17:42.34, followed by five of her teammates.
“Overall our team results weren’t what we had hoped they would be,” said Anne Lovelace ’12, who finished first for the Bulldogs with a time of 18:33 — seven seconds behind Harvard’s sixth-place runner.
Other top finishers for the Bulldogs included eleventh place Stephany Reaves ’10 (18:58), followed closely by Kayali (19:05), Celia Stockwell ’11 (19:25) and Alexandra Cadicamo ’10 (19:31).
While neither Yale team managed to overcome the strong competition from Harvard, there were many individual successes at the meet.
“Anne Lovelace ran very well. She did her best to stay up there, and the rest of us should have stayed up there with her,” Reaves said.
“A lot of us left something to be desired and [Lovelace] definitely put it all out there in the race,” Kayali added.
As for the men’s team, Goutos had a great race, continuing what has been a solid start to his Yale career.
“I just went out without too many expectations,” Goutos said. “I took a risk at the beginning, and it paid well throughout the race.”
Yale will have another chance at the Franklin Park course during the NCAA Regional Championships on Nov. 14. But the Elis face off against Harvard sooner than that at the Heptagonal Championships in New York City on Oct. 30.
“They do have a strong team this year,” Lovelace said of the Crimson. “But if we run the way we’re capable of, especially the way we ran at Iona, that will help us get in front of more of the Harvard girls.”
The next meet for both teams will be the Penn State Invitational on Oct. 16 in College Park, Penn.
“Penn State is a much bigger invitational, more compact running and a lot of people we’re looking to beat,” Reaves said.
Although this past weekend did not go the Elis’ way, the alumni race was inspiring for current Bulldogs, Lovelace said.
“It was cool to be reminded of the history of the meet and see people who care about coming back and being competitors,” she said about the alumni runners. “I’ll definitely be back.”