CROSS COUNTRY: Young talent showcased at Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown
Last Friday, Yale’s men’s and women’s cross country teams raced in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, with both teams giving many young runners their collegiate debuts.
This past weekend, the Bulldogs’ men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in Boston College’s Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, finishing fourth and eleventh, respectively.
Both teams featured lineups laden with freshmen and sophomores who put up strong showings in Boston ahead of the climax of the season.
Leo Brewer ’25 and Braden King ’26 led the men’s team with 21st and 22nd place finishes, respectively, out of the 105 runners who made the final cut for team-scoring. The men’s squad finished fourth out of 15 teams while debuting five runners in the seven-man lineup that did not participate in the season-opening Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet.
On the women’s side, the team was led by captain Samantha Friborg ’23, whose team-placer finish was 37th out of a field of 132 runners. The women’s team finished 11th out of 19 present.
“The full roster this year is stronger than we have had in recent memory, so there is plenty of reason to believe that this season can be one of the best for the program in a few years,” men’s captain Cade Brown ’23 said. “Through the summer and the start of this competition season, I have already seen great progress from the younger runners, especially the first years.”
In the men’s 8-kilometer race, the Blue and White’s seven-man lineup consisted of three sophomores, three first-years and one junior.
After Brewer and King, Kenan Pala ’26 finished 26th, Owen Karas ’26 finished 33rd and Calvin Katz ’25 finished 37th, rounding out the scoring for the Elis. All three finished within eight seconds of each other as Pala earned a time of 24:55 while Katz finished at 25:03.
In the women’s five kilometer race, there were many great showings, but one especially stood out to women’s head cross country coach Taryn Sheehan.
[Friborg] had a really big performance this weekend,” Sheehan said in an interview with the News. “She did not run cross country last fall, so for her to come out for us this season is huge. She placed in the 800m last spring in the NCAA qualifiers, so we are expecting great things from her this season. We are really proud of what she’s been doing and look forward to her and Kosana Weir ’23 to be great team leaders this year.”
Like the men’s lineup, the women’s seven runners this weekend contained four runners making their season debut.
After Friborg, rookies Claire Archer ’26 and Miranda Lorsbach ’26 finished 45th and 50th, respectively. Kylie Goldfarb ’25 clinched 63rd for the Bulldogs while Carmel Fitzgibbon ’26 finished 75th. Friborg finished with a time of 18:19 while Fitzgibbon came in not far behind at 18:53.
“We split our squad up this weekend,” Sheehan said. “We will race the other half of our group next week. I’m really excited about the youth of this team right now. I don’t know who the top seven are right now, and that’s really exciting to me. Everyone is going to get the chance to get in there and run, and that’s the mark of a really good team.”
Virginia, Dartmouth and Northeastern finished ahead of the Blue and White’s men’s squad for the top three spots at Beantown. On the women’s side, Virginia finished first, while Dartmouth was the highest-placing Ivy League school with a third place finish.
When asked about the race this past weekend, Claire Archer ’26 attributed the team’s success to great team leadership and unity.
“As a first-year on the team, I’ve been so inspired by the work ethic of the older runners,” Archer wrote to the News. “Their leadership on the team really made the difference at Battle in Beantown. … It’s all about becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable, and everyone here has more than embraced that line of thinking.”
Both teams will race next Friday at the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.