As rain soaked the men’s and women’s cross country teams during their Saturday warmups, captain Kevin Lunn ’13 referenced t-shirts worn by the football team that read, “No one’s ever drowned in sweat.”
“No one’s ever drowned in water,” he said.
The cross-country teams did neither on Saturday, scorching the competition at the Fordham Fiasco meet in New York City’s Van Cortlandt Park en route to first place finishes for both teams.
The women’s team ran first, scoring just 17 points to finish 41 points in front of second-place Rider University.
“It went fantastic,” head coach Amy Gosztyla said. “We dominated.”
Gosztyla added that the meet was, “A really good start for everyone as a whole.”
Millie Chapman ’14 won the women’s individual title, covering the five-kilometer course in 18:19.32.
Captain Nihal Kayali ’13 said that Chapman defended her title with the victory, having won the race the prior year. Kayali added that defending a title is rare in cross country races.
Elizabeth Marvin ’13, Emily Stark ’16 and Caitlin Hudson ’13 swept the next three spots, and Sarah Barry ’15 placed seventh to round out Yale’s top five. Kayali said that Stark’s third place finish was particularly impressive given the transition from high school to collegiate cross country running.
The team’s performance seemed especially remarkable given its approach to the meet and the stormy weather. “The team went in with a conservative race plan, and they executed it really well despite the pretty poor conditions,” said Kayali.
Following the tone set by the women’s race, the men’s team finished 46 points in front of Fordham to win the meet by scoring only 18 points. “The competition wasn’t quite as strong as it was a year ago,” said head coach Paul Harkins, “but I didn’t necessarily expect us to have six guys in the top seven.”
Matthew Nussbaum ’15 paced the Bulldogs over the length of the eight-kilometer men’s course, winning the individual title in 26:10.53. Lunn followed close behind to finish second, and Kevin Dooney ’16, Timothy Hillas ’13 and Jacob Sandry ’15 placed fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively. Harkins said that the race marked the first cross country race in the career of Hillas, captain of the men’s track and field team. Lunn said that Dooney was a runner to keep an eye on, as he raced at junior world nationals this past summer.
Both teams noted that the level of competition will not be the level they will face the rest of the season. Gosztyla said that many of the teams featured in the meet ran in Divisions II and III, and that the team she expected to be the primary competition, Columbia, wound up competing at another meet.
Even so, Kayali and Harkins offered reasons to be excited about the results for both teams. Harkins said the meet proved that the team is better prepared than it was at this point in the season last year, while Kayali said the results were encouraging for what is to come. The men’s and women’s cross-country teams continue the season this Friday in a dual meet against Harvard at the Yale Golf Course.