Both Yale cross country teams traveled to the Bronx with hopes of bringing back the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships title. Although both teams fell short as the women finished third and the men sixth, the Elis placed runners in the top six of each race.
A pair of juniors led the way for the Bulldogs on Friday. In his first race this season, Trevor Reinhart ’19 claimed sixth place in the conference championship. For the women’s team, Andrea Masterson ’19 continued her stellar season, finishing as the individual runner-up while lifting the Elis to third place at Van Cortlandt Park.
Men’s cross country
The Bulldogs raced a youthful squad of 12 runners at the nation’s oldest cross country course, bringing in nine underclassmen to vie for the Ivy League title. The younger runners proved instrumental, comprising three of the Bulldogs’ five scoring members. Yet, it was the experienced Reinhart who distanced himself and pulled ahead from the rest of the team.
Reinhart, who placed 16th at Ivies last year and second among all Bulldogs, had yet to race this fall. His five-mile time of 25:08.6 was 11 seconds behind the winner, Columbia’s Ryan Thomas, and 35 seconds faster than Yale’s second scorer, Jonathan Lomogda ’20. With the effort, Reinhart earned first-team All-Ivy honors.
“I wasn’t able to lay down an intricate race plan … as it was my first race of the season,” Reinhart said. “Instead, I merely held a leading position in the front pack to enable me to cover any moves made throughout the race. It was, however, a complete dice roll on whether or not I would have the fitness to execute that race plan due to my minimal training, but luckily it panned out OK.”
The remainder of Yale’s scorers were spaced out throughout the field. Lomogda, who has been the Elis’ leading runner in Reinhart’s absence, placed 24th with a race time of 25:44.1. Neil Braganza ’21 finished 41st, five places in front of Yale’s fourth finisher Charlie Gardner ’21. The future is bright for the Bulldogs, as Braganza and Gardner were the fifth and sixth rookies, respectively, to cross the line in the entire Ivy League.
“We have a young team this year,” captain Adam Houston ’18 said. “Obviously we are always pushing for the win, but I think what is most important is what this team will do in the next four years.”
Matt Chisholm ’18 — the winner of Yale’s dual meet against Harvard earlier this season — rounded out the scoring for Yale. His time of 26:32.7 placed him 59th in the 88-person field. The meet marked Chisholm and Houston’s last Ivy League race. Houston had missed the entire season because of an injury, but returned for Ivies and came in 85th place with a time of 28:07.3.
Princeton, which placed three runners in the top five, took the Ivy League title with 28 points, 130 ahead of the Elis’ 158. Columbia and Penn followed Princeton with second- and third-place finishes, respectively. Despite moving down a place from last year’s fifth-place result, the Elis can remain optimistic for the rest of the season and for years to come. The Bulldogs will return all but two of the runners who participated in Ivies, including all of their top-four finishers.
Women’s cross country
Friday marked the third consecutive top-three finish at Ivies for a Yale squad that has established itself as a consistent title threat. The Bulldogs’ 89 points tailed just No. 24 Columbia and No. 30 Dartmouth. The nationally-ranked Lions and Big Green earned 66 and 73 points, respectively. Yale fell out of the national rankings two weeks ago, but its close finish behind the two leaders shows that the team will be dangerous throughout the remainder of the postseason.
“We came into this meet knowing how competitive the conference was this year, and we are very pleased with the results,” Kayley Delay ’21 said. “[The] race finally allowed me to understand how truly exciting it is to rep the Y.”
Masterson added to her already-dominant season with a second-place finish. She and eventual winner Gabrielle Forrest of Princeton were neck-and-neck heading to the finish line, with Masterson closing the gap quickly. Despite Masterson’s effort, Forrest prevailed in a tight finish, topping the Yale junior by 0.6 seconds. Masterson’s time of 21:02.9 in the six-kilometer course was enough, however, to separate her from third place by over eight seconds. It also earned her first-team All-Ivy honors and her runner-up position is the highest by any Yale woman in over a decade.
Sevanne Ghazarian ’21 put together a strong showing as well. The Ontario native crossed the line in sixth place as the Ivy League’s fastest rookie with a time of 21:17.6, enough to also earn her first-team All-Ivy honors. Ghazarian credited her success to the guidance of her older teammates.
“The upperclassmen on the team have been really helpful in the transition from high school to college level running,” Ghazarian said. “Implementing the tips they give us based upon their own past experience has been a huge contributor to all of our success.”
DeLay also impressed, coming in 12th place with a time of 21:31.5. She earned second-team All-Ivy honors for her performance. The trio of Masterson, Ghazarian and DeLay was the lowest-scoring trio of all eight teams at the championship. Their combined 20 points bested the next-closest trio from Columbia by 13 points.
The final two scorers for Yale were Kate Raphael ’18 and Dana Klein ’18, both running in their final Ivy race. The seniors crossed the line within a second of each other, placing 34th and 35th, respectively. A third senior, Melissa Fairchild ’18, trailed them as the sixth Yale finisher, placing 57th.
Depth proved the difference between the top two finishers and Yale. Columbia finished four runners in a row from 14th to 18th. However, the Bulldogs may have an even stronger bid for the Ivy title next year, with their top three runners returning, including two breakout first years.
For both teams, Ivies was just the kickoff postseason meet. The men and the women will head to Audubon Golf Course in Buffalo, New York on Nov. 10 to compete at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships. Those who move on from regionals will have the opportunity to race in Louisville a week later at Nationals.
Brian Yeo | email@example.com