While the women’s cross country team was able to top the Crimson this weekend at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton race, the Tigers proved to be just out of reach.
Yale finished second with a score of 43 points, while the Tigers raced to first with 20 and the Crimson crawled behind with 85 points. In dual meet results, Princeton beat Yale, 20-43, but Yale was able to best Harvard, 15-50. Lindsay Donaldson ’08 won the race with a time of 17:26.
Jaclyn Myers ’07 said Donaldson’s victory boosted team morale.
“We’re really proud of Lindsay,” she said. “She’s really talented and driven, and she’s very supportive of the team as a whole.”
Ingrid Sproll ’08 added that the men’s team also produced the winner of the Harvard-Yale, which fueled the women. She said the Harvard-Yale-Princeton race is “a really big race to win.”
Now in her third year in Eli blue, Donaldson appears yet again to be the Bulldogs’ top runner. She ran 41 seconds faster than the rest of the Yale pack en route to winning her second race in two tries this fall. The result is even more impressive considering that seven Princeton runners were able to finish before the next Yale runner. Despite a distinct lack of allies among the frontrunners, Donaldson was able to maintain a five-second lead in front of Princeton senior Mia Swenson.
Kelli Buck ’09 said the familiarity of the course helped the team.
“We’re very familiar with Franklin Park,” she said. “It’s nice to go back to a course you already know.”
Sproll said the team had just run at the Franklin Park course in Boston the week before, which helped her prepare mentally for the race.
“I really like the course a lot,” she said. “We run on it a lot, so we know where to work extra hard and so we can know where to pass people. It’s a really good course to run.”
The familiarity may also have contributed to helping the Elis stick together during the race. Buck said that running in packs helps with keeping a constant and quick pace.
“We try to run as packs, and for myself it was Bevin Peters [’09] and me,” she said. “We try to feed off each other as a team so we both run better.”
Running as a group proved beneficial for two groups of runners. Katherine McKinstry ’07 and Ashley Campbell ’07, who finished in ninth and tenth, finished within one second of one another. Another group of three Yale women, Allyson Rinderle ’10, Peters and Buck, crossed the line 19th, 20th and 21st, all within a four-second range.
But Myers said running in packs does not always help with pacing.
“I started off running with a teammate,” she said. “Then I found a Harvard pack, but I finished by myself.”
Several Elis said beating Harvard made this victory particularly special. Sproll said she thinks the extra pressure allowed the team to perform at a higher level.
“I always enjoy Harvard-Yale-Princeton, because there is an extra energy,” she said. “A lot of the freshmen did really well. A lot of the freshmen got personal bests, so it was a help for them.”
But not everything went as well as planned. The team was disappointed that Princeton won by such a large margin.
“It’s always nice to beat Harvard, but we were focusing on Princeton because they were ranked high nationally,” Donaldson said.