Early last Friday morning, the men and women of Yale cross country stomped through the muddy race course of the 38th Annual Paul Short Invitational.

At the Paul Short, held every year in Bethlehem, Pa., the women Bulldogs placed 6th out of 45 teams on the 6k course. The men, who got 19th out of 45 teams on the 8k course, expressed disappointment with their performance and their small squad size.

“I am really, really proud of our team. We performed better than what our coach expected,” Elizabeth Marvin ’13 said. Marvin placed 22nd out of 396 total competitors, the highest of any Eli on either team.

Other standout female runners included Liana Epstein ’14, who finished 23rd, Melissa Chapman ’14, who finished 46th, Nihal Kayali ’13, who finished 53rd, and Caitlin Hudson ’13, who finished 61st.

The men’s top finishers were Sam Lynch ’12, who placed 68th out of 402 runners, and Kevin Lunn ’13, who placed 90th.

“I am a little disappointed with the team’s overall performance,” Lunn said. “We wanted to make some noise, but we were missing some key runners.”

The Bulldogs were competing without their second best runner, among others, Lunn said.

Lunn added that the muddy race track had slowed them down. The men placed sixth out of the eight Ivy League schools competing, between Cornell at 12th and Princeton at 21st. The Columbia Lions won third place.

The Yale men’s cross country team started out the season with a third-place finish at the Fordham Invitational but lost to Harvard at the following dual meet on Sept. 17.

“There are a lot of guys progressing, who showed better racing strategy and faster times, but overall it was not great,” said captain Nathan Richards ’12.

Richards added that the team needed to develop a “pack mentality” during races and improve their consistency by being healthy and productive “on and off the course.”

“I will set a good example,” Richards said. “We are going to pull it all together.”

The women’s team also has a positive outlook for the rest of the season, Marvin said, adding that she thinks the new runners will make a difference.

Kira Garry ’15, who finished 123rd, and Hannah Alpert ’15, who finished 297th, were the only Yale freshman women to compete at Paul Short.

“It was definitely a good learning experience for them. This was a huge meet, and a huge transition from high school,” Marvin said.

The women’s team placed second at the Fordham Invitational, out of 17 teams total, and placed second again the following week at a Harvard-Yale-Princeton showdown. They are currently ranked third in the Northeast, ahead of all the Ivies and behind only Providence and Syracuse.

The next meet for both teams will be on Oct. 15 at Princeton.