This Friday, the Yale men’s and women’s cross country teams embarked on their final meet of the season at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships. Despite freezing weather and muddy conditions, the Bulldog women took third while the men effectively ended their season with a 17th-place finish.
In previous years, the Elis raced on the same course with mixed results. Though the women improved on their fifth-place standing from last season, the men’s runners produced an identical result after racing to 17th place in 2017. This regional championship served as a qualifier for the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 17, which will take place at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wisconsin. Though the men’s and women’s results prevented them from qualifying either team for Nationals, women’s captain Andrea Masterson ’19 will head to Madison next Saturday to race solo.
“[Masterson] is having the best cross country season of her career, not to mention she has had one of the best cross country careers in Yale history,” women’s head coach Amy Gosztyla said. “I couldn’t be more proud of how well we came together as a team and raced tough in those conditions.”
Saturday will mark Materson’s third time running on the national stage. In 2016, she qualified for Nationals with the women’s team while in 2017, she ran as an individual.
Gosztyla noted that the women’s team came up six points shy of an automatic qualification to Nationals, marking the difference between Yale’s 94 points and second-place finisher Dartmouth’s 88.
While Columbia took home the gold with 41 points, the Bulldogs stunned with individual performances, starting with Masterson’s sixth-place finish in a field of 250 runners. Along with Masterson, teammates Morgan McCormick ’22 and Kayley Delay ’21 earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors, crossing the line in the top 25. Jocelyn Chau ’22 finished in 26th place, while the final Bulldog score was produced by Sevanne Ghazarian ’21, who ended her season with a 30th-place finish.
“I think the team had a very strong day overall,” Chau said. “In general it was a good effort. … [The weather] wasn’t the best for running, but I think we all gave it our all.”
Comparatively, the men’s team had a tough time running in the slushy conditions, with the team finishing in 17th place among 34 competing schools. While the Elis’ rivals from Harvard ended the day with a better score than the Bulldogs, the men still defeated local rival Quinnipiac by a massive 371 points.
Captain Trevor Reinhart ’19 led his team with a 46th place individual finish, placing ahead of 195 runners. Hugh Sadler ’22 and Charlie Gardner ’21 followed behind their captain in 72nd and 93rd, respectively. Jonathan Lomogda ’20 also crossed the line in the top 100 for Yale. Robert Miranda ’22 raced as the fifth Eli scorer, finishing in 129th place with a time of 35:32.1.
The men’s team usually runs a maximum of eight kilometers during races. Remarkably, the difference between Miranda and the first-place scorer from sixth-place UMass-Lowell was about three minutes, proving that small time differences separated the competing schools.
“The conditions were just dreadful,” Sadler said. “I don’t think I’ve ever raced in conditions as tough as that, and I’m not really sure we could have done anything more to prepare for conditions as bad as that. Considering the conditions and also it was our first 10K of the season, there were definitely positives to be taken from it. Personally, I was pleased with my run.”
While the Northeast Regionals ended the Bulldogs’ cross country season, runners will prepare for indoor track and field this winter with the first meet scheduled for Jan. 19.
Valerie Pavilonis | firstname.lastname@example.org .