Courtesy of Yale Athletics

Yale’s cross country teams competed in Lehigh University’s Paul Short Run this past weekend

Friday’s race saw the top five placers for both the men’s and women’s squads all setting personal-best times. As the cross country season begins to heat up, the coaches have set their sights ahead, wanting to improve even more in hopes of destroying Yale’s Ivy League competition.

“At this stage of the season, I am less worried about the results and more focused on the improvement in execution as we prepare for the Ivy League Championships at the end of October,” men’s coach Matt Gutridge wrote to the News. “The group understands that this was just one of the many steps on the way to the bigger goals they are pursuing.”

The men’s team clinched an impressive eighth place finish out of 46 teams. The top five scorers, Cade Brown ’23, Varun Oberai ’25, Sean Kay ’24, Richard Sturtevant ’23 and Stephen Moody ’24 all beat personal record times by at least a minute. 

Oberai attributed the fast times to a combination of competition, training and teamwork. 

“From a times standpoint, this year was particularly competitive, as we saw several runners go under the previous course record, and more than a hundred runners dip under 24:00 minutes for the 8km distance,” Oberai wrote to the News. “The teamwork in combination with our physical preparation helped us all compete well in a very strong field.”

The women’s team scored a top-half finish of 23rd out of 46, with multiple runners also setting personal bests. Kathryn Rodrigues ’24 led the team with a 93rd place finish, and coming in behind her were Kosana Weir ’23 at 102nd, Claire Archer ’26 at 128th, Kyra Pretre ’24 at 156th, and Miranda Lorsbach ’26 at 220th. 

Rodrigues, Weir and Pretre all set personal bests, while Archer and Lorsbach were competing in their first collegiate six kilometer race. Rodrigues, who finished over a minute faster than her past performance at last year’s Paul Short Run, credits her success to both her offseason training and her trust in her coach.

“Since last winter, I’ve been training at much higher mileage,” Rodrigues wrote to the News. “It took my body a long time to adjust to the intensity of running 10+ miles a day, but I’m so glad that it is finally starting to pay off … the key for me was trusting my coach and consistently keeping at it for almost a year even when it didn’t seem promising.”

With so many collegiate career PRs, the runners had a lot to be excited about this past weekend. Their coaches, however, have their sights set straight ahead.

Both Gutridge and the women’s coach, Taryn Sheehan, expressed concern for the Ivy League Championships at the end of this month.

The women’s team finished two spots ahead of Columbia, who finished 25th, and well ahead of Cornell, who finished 44th. However, they fell short to Princeton at ninth, Dartmouth at 15th and Penn at 18th.

The men’s squad edged out Cornell and Dartmouth, who came in right behind at ninth and tenth. Further behind them came Penn and Columbia at 14th and 31st, respectively. 

“We beat all the other Ivy League teams in the competition so that is always a good result,” Sean Kay ’24 wrote to the News.

Both teams race next on Oct. 14 in the Bronx at the IC4A Cross Country Championships ahead of the Ivy League Championships at the end of this month.