It was a disappointing day for both the men’s and women’s cross country teams last Friday at the 70th annual Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in Van Cortlandt Park, N.Y.

In this traditional battle for Ancient Eight glory, the men’s team finished seventh among Ivy teams with 160 points, and the women were eighth with 238.

“In general, our performance on Friday doesn’t reflect the shape that we’re in or how we should be running,” women’s captain Stephany Reaves ’10 said.

Illness among several players on the men’s side made running to their potential difficult for some of the runners as well, a factor that affects the entire team’s performance.

“It leaves less margin for error,” Conor Dooney ’12 said.

Healthy or not, the men toed the line at 12:15 p.m. for the start of the 8k race in ideal mid-50 degree conditions. In a race to the finish on this familiar course, Dooney placed 13th with a time of 25:50.2, finishing first for the Bulldogs and making the second All-Ivy team.

“The plan at the start of the year was to come to all-Ivy and hopefully crack the top ten,” Dooney said.

In eighth place with 300 meters to go, Dooney was in just the position to do this but ended up getting passed in the final stretch.

“At about a mile to go I went too hard and ended up paying the price,” said Dooney, “I’m frustrated because I know I could have done better.”

Other top finishers for the Elis included Jeff Perrella ’11 (26:00.2) in 19th place, Max Walden ’11 (26.49.9), Nathan Richards ’12 (26.52.) and Jake McKenzie ’12 (27.03.7).

The 2010 season will provide the men’s team with another shot at the Ivy League title — the team is young, with almost all of its members returning next year.

On the women’s side, the Bulldog’s young talent also propelled the team Friday. Top finisher Anne Lovelace ’12 placed 35th with a time of 18:30.5 on the 5k course and was followed by teammates Alexandra Cadicamo ’10 (18.55.3), Elizabeth Marvin ’13 (19.13.2), Nihal Kayali ’13 (19.13.3) and Caitlin Hudson ’13 (19.29.7).

“Anne Lovelace has been running very consistently … [but] it would have been better if we had the four scoring runners up with her in the same place,” Reaves added, remarking on the relatively spread out times of the top finishers.

“Unfortunately Heps was the big race of the year,” Dooney said. “That was the race we really wanted to do well in.”

Next up for the Bulldogs are the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on Nov. 14, hosted by Boston University at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. The top two teams and four individuals in this race will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.

“[This next race is] more about redemption,” Perrella said. “We’re hoping to make up for our performance at Heps and hopefully end the season with some respect.”

Reeves expressed the same optimism about the upcoming race.

“We’re looking forward to it and regrouping so we can do well,” she said.