CROSS COUNTRY | Runners sweep top five

credit_judi_donnelly
Photo by Judi Donnelly.

Men’s and women’s cross country saw a top-five sweep, pack running and a one-shoed freshman Saturday.

The Yale women’s and men’s teams finished first and third, respectively, at the Princeton Invitational meet this weekend. Women’s cross country came out ahead of twelve other teams with Elis sweeping the top five individual places. The men came in third behind Cornell and Princeton. This past weekend’s meet served as preparation for the upcoming Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at Princeton in two weeks, runners said.

“It was a really great feeling, to be able to work together as a team, for the top five to finish together in the front of the pack,” Elizabeth Marvin ’13 said. “[But] there was no one to block the wind for us.”

Marvin was among the five Elis who led the 97-person Women’s Championship — all of whom were from Yale and posted similar times. Liana Epstein ’14 crossed the finish line first with a time of 21:41. Melissa Chapman ’14 followed with a time of 21:49, and Marvin, Nihal Kayali ’13 and Caitlin Hudson ’13 all finished the 5k race within 35 seconds of Epstein’s time.

The course conditions were ideal, with flat hills and slight wind yet good overall weather, Marvin said.

Although Yale won its race against Princeton, Columbia and 10 non-Ivy teams, the top runners from No. 28 Princeton were not racing. Moreover, Marvin said the Elis will have to continue to work hard over the next two weeks to prepare for Ivy championships.

The men also finished strong, although top runner Sam Lynch ’12 dropped out of the race early with an injured calf. Kevin Lunn ’13 came in first for Yale, 17th out of 139 racers, when he crossed the 8k race finish line with a time of 25:16. Laemel, Michael Cunetta ’14, Nathan Richards ’12 and John McGowan ’15 all followed and scored within the top 30.

“We had five guys in a big pack with about three and a half miles to go,” Lunn said. “I focused on moving up and bringing as many teammates as I could to go with me.”

Lunn added that the flat Princeton course and the team pack mentality during the race resulted in faster times than previous meets. About eight team members broke personal records, he said.

Laemel, who finished 18th directly after Lunn, added that while the team had a solid performance, he would have liked to score above Cornell to advance in the Ivy League rankings. If the team had beaten Cornell, Laemel said, it would have advanced to fourth or fifth within the Ivy League.

But Laemel said he is confident the team is capable of beating Cornell down the road. Yale’s top five, he added, finished right behind a Cornell group.

New members of both teams showed improvement during both the championship race — the part of the competition that determines a school’s ranking — and the open race.

Lindsey Raymond ’12 placed 13th overall in the Women’s Championships in her second career race. (Raymond is a former city editor for the News.)

Despite losing his shoe about 1200 meters into the Men’s Open Race, Matt Naussbaum ’15 placed 9th out of 100 runners.

“Somebody stepped on my heel and knocked [my shoe] off,” Naussbaum said, adding that he tried to ignore the missing shoe. “I just did exactly what every other guy on the team would have done: kept going.”

Laemel said that it was nice to see the freshman step up and continue to develop.

“Naussbaum’s shoe is kind of one of those things that reawakens the competitive spirits in a team,” Laemel said. “He looked liked a monster out there.”

He added that Naussbaum’s commitment to keep racing was a good indicator of future success.

The Bulldogs return to Princeton for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on October 29. The race starts at 11 a.m.

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