The Yale cross country teams faced high stakes on Friday as they competed in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton trigonal meet, held at Franklin Park in Boston. The races followed last week’s Fordham Fiasco event in the Bronx, New York, in which both the women’s and men’s teams began the season with admirable performances.
Both teams finished HYP in second place, the men fighting a one-on-one battle against Harvard and the women competing in a three-team standoff with Harvard and Princeton.
“The team was running pretty tired because of our heavy training load right now,” men’s coach Paul Harkins said. “I was hoping that we would race a little better than we did, but I am confident in our training plan, and I know we will improve significantly as we go through the season — we always do.”
Women’s captain Andrea Masterson ’19 continued her streak of excellence, snagging the first-place individual title with a time of 17:25.24 in the 5K race. She was followed by first years Jocelyn Chau ’22 and Morgan McCormick ’22, who finished in third and seventh, respectively. Their performances at their first Ivy League meet show that they will be essential to the team’s success in future competitions.
“The first years have been doing great, obviously they’ve had really solid training,” Jane Miller ’20, a member of the cross country team and a staff reporter for the News, said. “We graduated a big class of seniors, so having girls who can come in and fill the gap is very important.”
The top three Yalies were closely followed by Kayley Delay ’21 and Sevanne Ghazarian ’21, continuing with Miller as the sixth Eli finisher. The team’s efforts earned it 33 total points, calculated from the team’s top five finishers, a mere point behind Princeton’s 32 and leagues ahead of Harvard’s distant 59.
The Elis significantly closed the gap against the Tigers from a year ago, even though they fell agonizingly short — the team shaved six points off last year’s score while Princeton’s 32 points remained constant from 2017.
The men scored a total of 36 points in their 6K race, significantly off the pace of Harvard’s score of 21 and a disappointing total for a two-team race. The results of this year’s competition flipped from last year, when Yale managed a 23 against Harvard’s 36. The charge was led by first years Robert Miranda ’22 and Cade Brown ’22, with Miranda grabbing the top Bulldog spot with third place, clocking a time of 18:46.9. Following in their wake were sophomores Will Laird ’21 and Patrick Perry ’21, the final two of Yale’s top-10 finishers.
“I felt I had a really strong debut and it felt really good to show the team what I could do,” Brown said. “Overall, we didn’t get the result we wanted at HYP, but we came out of it with valuable lessons learned so that the next time we face Harvard, the result will surely be different.”
Following the underclassmen, nine other Elis finished in the top 20, and the remaining four Bulldogs rounded out the pack in the top 30. However, the team’s star senior Trevor Reinhart ’19, who paced the team at regionals last season, stumbled to a disappointing 14th-place finish.
“Looking towards the rest of the season, we want to better prepare ourselves for faster paces, since the race was quick from the gun,” Army Noonan ’20 said. “I know we have a great anaerobic base, so just sharpening up our speed is going to benefit us immensely.”
The Bulldogs will compete next at the Paul Short Invitational, held on Sept. 29 at Lehigh University.
Valerie Pavilonis | email@example.com