Yale Athletics

On Oct. 9, the Yale men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the New England Cross Country Championships at Franklin Park, placing sixth and seventh, respectively. 

Varun Oberai ‘25 and Kyra Pretre ‘24 each led the way for their respective teams. Oberai finished 21st out of 161 in the men’s eight-kilometer race and Pretre placed 27th out of 155 in the women’s five-kilometer race. 

“I was really pleased with the performance of the ladies that raced this weekend,” women’s head coach Taryn Sheehan told the News over the phone. “The goal that we are really working on is closing our gaps and then being tight as a squad. They had a nice little group there and I’m really excited about them continuing that progress. We still have a lot of work to do but I think this was a definite step in the right direction.”

Kylie Goldfarb ‘25 and Sarah Pillard ‘22 had huge improvements from the last time they raced this course at the Battle in Beantown two weeks ago — Goldfarb ran 31 seconds faster with a time of 18:39.39 and Pillard ran 21 seconds faster with a time of 19:06.85.

Pretre applauded her teammates for having a great “spread,” which is the gap between the first and last runner for the team. The closer the spread, the better for the team because the times of the first five runners determines the team’s overall score. For the women, there was only a 27-second difference between their first and fifth runner. 

The men also had a similar spread time of 43 seconds between their top five runners. Men’s head coach Paul Harkins was proud of how the team performed.

“The guys ran well last weekend and bounced back from a tough run at Paul Short [Run],” Harkins said. “I was excited to see their progress, and I’m excited to see the progress the older guys have made over the last several weeks of training when they race on Friday in Virginia.” 

The men’s team placed sixth out of 24, with Dartmouth taking the first position. The women’s team finished seventh out of 23, behind the two other Ancient Schools present.

Coming into the race, Oberai said the men’s goal was to stick together in the first couple of miles, which he said the team did well. 

“I think we did a really good job of following Coach’s plan and running well together through the first couple of miles.” Oberai said. “I’d say going forward, it would be nice if that pack stayed together for the whole race, and we moved up as a group. It’s much easier to run when you’re surrounded by guys that you’ve been training with.”

This race was another important preview of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Northeast Regional Championships, which will also be hosted at Franklin Park on Nov. 12. The next race for both teams is this Friday in Virginia at the Panorama Farms X23 Invitational.

As they look to the rest of the season, Pretre said that both squads plan on training hard for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which will be on Nov. 20. According to Oberai, the top two teams — and sometimes the top three teams — from regionals advance to nationals.

“I think we have a real shot of looking at that nationals bid next year or the year after,” Oberai said. “[We want to] keep on building the culture of hard work and staying on top of recovery. The prospects are looking really bright.”

This year’s New England Cross Country Championship race was the 108th edition of the competition.