Courtesy of Sam Rubin '95

Both of Yale’s cross country teams yielded positive results after competing in the Ivy League Championships at Van Cortlandt Park last Friday. Their trip to New York proved successful, with strong individual finishes and overall team results.

The Bulldogs performed well last Friday, and both cross country teams placed fifth out of the eight Ivy League teams. But Kayley DeLay ’21 stole the show as she crossed the finish line first to become the 2019 Ivy League cross country champion. DeLay finished with an impressive time of 20:45.6, and teammate Jane Miller ’20 was close behind, finishing seventh overall with a time of 21:17.4.

“I couldn’t have been happier in that moment, there was no feeling like it,” DeLay said. “It couldn’t have been a nicer day for HEPS and it was so amazing to have so many teammates, alumni, family and friends all be present for the race … It was a tough course and I know every woman on our team ran a gritty race and should be proud of their efforts.”

The Columbia women’s cross country team was ultimately victorious. However, Miller is sure that Yale’s fifth-place finish was a reflection of neither the team’s performance nor their ability. Although DeLay’s individual accomplishment was everyone’s highlight of the day, she has already begun thinking about the next task at hand: regionals. In spite of her own personal victory, DeLay is prioritizing the team’s goals.

According to DeLay, the fifth-place finish brought a wave of displeasure across the team. But both Miller and DeLay are hoping to transform the recent results into inspiration. DeLay is looking ahead, eager for the upcoming meets and confident that the team has what it takes to prolong its season.

“Falling short of this team goal makes qualifying for nationals even more desirable,” DeLay said. “It’s not a matter of if we can do it, but rather just getting it done on the day that counts.”

The men’s team performed well on Friday, and has significantly improved since last season, producing its best team score since 2015. Robert Miranda ’22 led the charge, placing third out of 82 runners with a time of 24:40.8. The hilly eight-kilometer course posed many challenges throughout the race, and the entire Yale men’s team rose to the occasion. Nick Dahl ’21 finished less than one minute after his teammate, taking 15th after 25:11.4.

It is clear that the Bulldogs have just begun to grasp their full potential. With the season coming to a close, it is important that the team is in top form for the final few races. Last season’s results have served as motivation for this year’s team, Miranda said, and the team is excited for what is to come.

“Last year we finished a distant seventh at this meet, which was pretty disappointing,” Miranda said. “We’ve used that as a chip on our shoulder all year, so to finish a close fifth shows our progress, and our strong freshman and sophomore classes show our potential for the future!”

Both Yale teams are currently on an upward trajectory. Last season, the men’s first-place finisher was 30th. Last Friday, everyone placed in the top 40; the results from this year’s Ivy League Championships show just how far they have come. With regionals just around the corner, there is still time for both teams to end the season on a high note.

The 2019 NCAA Northeast Regional Meet will take place in Buffalo, New York, on Friday, Nov. 15.

Rehan Melwani | rehan.melwani@yale.edu