Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams faced off against familiar rivals this weekend, but the two came home with different results.
The men ran against Harvard Saturday, competing in a head to head meet on Yale’s newly redesigned 8,000-meter cross-country course. Farther down I-95, the Yale women laced up their racing flats against Harvard and Princeton at the H-Y-Ps, held last weekend at Princeton.
The men’s team, running in less than stellar conditions, failed to overcome their perennial adversary. The Crimson scored 22 points, outracing the Bulldogs, who finished with 35.
Although the team’s performance as a whole was not overly impressive, several individual runners stood out. Captain Alexis Surovov ’02 led the team and finished third overall with a time of 26:08. Freshman Lucas Meyer ’05 came in only 4 seconds behind, finishing fifth overall.
The loss to Harvard disappointed the Elis, who have experienced a great deal of success against the Cantabs in the past. Last year, Yale beat Harvard at the Harvard-Yale competition and finished ahead of the Crimson in the Ivy League for the season.
“I thought we’d be able to stay closer,” said coach Dan Ireland. “Harvard is a lot further along in the season than we are at this point. They looked a lot more sharp than we did.”
The team is not entirely disappointed with its showing, though. Despite this weekend’s meet, the team’s goals remain the same.
“All in all, it was a good effort,” said Ireland. “I’m planning more for the end of October right now. Our goal is to finish in the top half of the Ivies at the end of the season.”
The Bulldogs will not have to wait long for a rematch. They will see Harvard again this weekend at the New England Championships.
The Yale women fared much better than their male counterparts. Led by junior Kate O’Neill, whose time of 17:19.5 set a new course record, the Bulldogs overwhelmed the competition at the H-Y-Ps.
“Princeton had some really good runners this year,” said Lindsay Mitchell ’03. “Harvard isn’t that strong, but regardless of the competition, we still get really excited when we face those two teams.”
The small field of competitors and the intense rivalry of the H-Y-P meet gave the women an opportunity to work on pack running and strategy. This will benefit the Bulldogs, who face the most important part of their schedule in the upcoming weeks.
Next up on the calendar is the NCAA Pre-Meet, held in Furman, S.C. This meet will constitute a trial run on the course that will be used for this year’s NCAA Championships.
“H-Y-Ps gave us some confidence going into this weekend,” said Mitchell. “It’s going to be a different kind of meet, but I think we’ll be ready.”