The Yale men’s and women’s cross country teams raced Friday at the CCSU Mini Meet, with the men snagging a second-place finish and the women crossing the line in sixth place.
Held at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, the meet hosted teams from around New England such as Dartmouth and Holy Cross. Providence snatched the first place win in both men’s and women’s varsity categories, with its women totaling a 136-point lead over Yale while the Friar men beat the Elis by a mere 48 points. The meet served as a primer for next week’s Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, otherwise known as Heps, when the Elis will face off against rivals like Harvard and Princeton.
“[The men] went out and still were able to come away with second place, which is really good,” Charlie Gardner ’21 said. “And even not running all the top guys, we’re still able to come away with a solid finish. I know we had a lot of great individual performances too, with some guys setting their personal bests in the 5K … It’s a good tuneup for the next week.”
The CCSU event featured four races, two for varsity teams and two for subvarsity squads. While both of Yale’s teams failed to qualify in the open races, the men’s varsity team improved from its 2017 performance at the same course, earning second this year to improve on a fourth-place standing a season ago. The women’s team, on the other hand, saw a diminished performance on Friday compared to last year, finishing in sixth — three spots below its mark in 2017.
Yale’s varsity men’s team was comprised of primarily underclassmen, with Gardner and Hugh Sadler ’22 leading the Bulldogs with seventh- and ninth-place finishes, respectively. Cameron Wyman ’21 and Evan Patinelli ’22 also ran in the top 20, while Neil Braganza ’21 rounded out the top five Bulldog runners by finishing the 5K with a respectable time of 15:31.6.
The track at the CCSU Mini Meet slightly differed from a usual race because the men ran a 5K on Friday, rather than their normal 8K.
“Going into Heps, I think we’re in a very strong position,” Sadler said. “If we can just run well as a pack, that’s what coach [Paul] Harkins has really been trying to get us to do and work on, and I think if we can do that, we can finish in quick succession of one another. I think we have quite a good chance of surprising people.”
The women’s team put up a good fight against Ivy foe Dartmouth, narrowly missing a fifth-place finish by 33 points. However, the Bulldogs team defeated local rival Quinnipiac by 63 points, with Megan Quimby ’21 leading the Elis with a time of 10:40.4. Samantha Friborg ’22 and Lauren Chapey ’20 followed Quimby, and Chloe Jensen ’21 and Rachel Suss ’20 rounded out the top five Bulldogs. All five of the women’s finishers crossed the line in the top 50 out of the field of 228 runners. The women’s distance was also reduced, with the normal 5K or 6K cut to a 3K.
“The Mini Meet was overall a good day for the team,” Quimby said. “It was a good day for people to get their legs moving a little faster as they start looking towards the track season and for the women joining the Heps squad, it was a chance to get a better sense of what the pace will be like this Saturday.”
The Bulldogs will race again Saturday at Heps, held at West Windsor Fields at Princeton.
Valerie Pavilonis | firstname.lastname@example.org .