For the second year in a row, a member of the women’s cross country team will be heading to Nationals — Andrea Masterson ’19 placed 10th at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships this past Friday, earning one of four individual qualifying spots for the NCAA National Championships in Louisville next Saturday.
Running in the blistering cold in Buffalo, the men’s and women’s cross country teams concluded their seasons at Regionals. Bolstered by solid races from Trevor Reinhart ’19 and Jonathan Lomogda ’20, the Eli men were able to capture a 17th-place finish in a field of 27 schools, including six Ivies. The women capped off their season earlier in the day by placing fifth at Regionals, unable to match their remarkable third-place result from last year and narrowly missing out on a repeat team trip to nationals. However, the Bulldogs demonstrated strong potential for a breakout year next season, as their top three finishers will be returning in the fall of 2018.
Women’s cross country
The women employed a combination of youth and experience to capture their fifth-place finish, the third consecutive year that Yale has placed in the top five at regionals. Masterson’s 10th-place finish at the meet marks the best performance by an Eli at the Northeast Regionals in at least eight years. The women raced through harsh weather and race conditions as the Ivy League representation came out in full force — five Ancient Eight squads placed in the top ten.
“The conditions during the race were terrible and made it really challenging to carry out any specific race plan,” Sevanne Ghazarian ’21 said. “Each of us fought as hard we could; the top-five finish was a result of the team really coming together and executing despite the extreme conditions.”
Masterson, the Bulldogs’ leading runner the entire season, followed up her runner-up performance at Ivy League Heptagonal Championships with another historic finish. She ran the six-kilometer course in 22:11.3 — under a minute from the individual champion — and grabbed an individual qualifying spot at Nationals next weekend.
Following her were the two first years that have broken out this fall. Ghazarian and Kayley Delay ’21 capped off stellar seasons with top-26 finishes. Ghazarian joined Masterson in earning All-Region honors, and her time of 22:25.9 led her to 20th place. Six spots below was Delay, finishing the race in 22:30.8 and just barely missing All-Region honors.
“The race was honestly one of the hardest runs of my life,” Delay said. “The conditions were absolutely terrible, but they were the same for everyone out there, so no excuses. Although we did not make it to nationals as a team, we ran very strong and are pleased with our performance.”
The women’s program has now continued their success at regionals for three years straight by garnering yet another top-five finish among tough competition. Following No. 10 Providence — the winning team at regionals — were No. 30 Dartmouth in second place, Syracuse in third and No. 24 Columbia in fourth.
The Elis will return their top three finishers from regionals next year, with Masterson leading the team.
Men’s cross country
After a promising start to the season, the Elis fizzled out a bit in the past few weeks. After placing sixth at Heps two weeks ago, Yale was the bottom Ivy League team at regionals. The Bulldogs were unable to finish ahead of the two teams they had topped at Heps, Brown and Harvard, the last of whom they had beaten multiple times this season.
“The meet definitely didn’t go exactly as we had hoped,” Lomogda said. “A lack of experience and poor conditions didn’t help, but now we can look forward to this track season and make new goals.”
The race was the first 10-kilometer race for the Elis this season and the first for six of the seven runners on the team.
After an emphatic return from injury at Heps two weeks ago at which he finished sixth, Reinhart led the team once again, crossing the finish line in 25th-place at regionals. His time of 32:40.4 earned him All-Region honors.
Following him was Lomogda, who came in 64th with a time of 33:34.0 after rocketing past the competition — he was in 107th place at the first mile marker. The redshirt first year has been a driving force for the team all season, finishing as either the first or second Eli in all his races. The following four Bulldog runners were all first years.
Trailing winner Syracuse by 443 points, the Bulldogs’ result at regionals was a step down from their ninth-place finish from last year. Though the Elis could not capitalize on the emergence of their young runners and Reinhart’s return in the postseason, they are poised to be a better team next season.
Yale will return all seven of its runners that raced at Buffalo on Friday.
Brian Yeo | email@example.com