CROSS COUNTRY: Big Bulldog win amid Big Three
This weekend, the Ivy League’s Big Three — Yale, Harvard and Princeton — faced off in Connecticut in the first meet of the year, with several notable team and individual finishes from the Bulldogs.
On Saturday, the Ivy League’s Big Three — the Harvard Crimson, Princeton Tigers and Yale Bulldogs — faced off at Allen’s Meadow Park in Wilton, Connecticut. Although it was the first race of the year for the Elis, both Harvard and Princeton already had one meet under their belts.
After losing both the men’s and women’s senior captains to graduation, the Bulldogs did not miss a step. There were many top-10 finishes across the two Yale teams, as well as strong showings from both of this year’s new senior captains, Sean Kay ’24 and Kyra Pretre ’24. The women’s team ended up finishing third overall, while the men’s team took home the gold with a first-place overall finish.
Kay, the men’s team captain, was pleased with how his team came out of the gates.
“It feels great to see the team have a strong showing in our first meet,” Kay wrote to the News. “For my senior season, as well as it being my captain season, I’m really looking forward to seeing the guys grow throughout the season, having our best race at the Ivy League Championship. We have a set of goals this season and after our showing this early in the year, I’m excited to see what our team does moving forward.”
In the men’s 6k, the Bulldogs were dominant across the board. Owen Karas ’26 took home first place overall with a 17:56 finish, a 4-minute and 48-second clip. Yale had six more top-10 finishers in the men’s race, with captain Kay taking second place overall, Stephen Moody ’24 taking fourth, Daegan Cutter ’27 taking fifth, Calvin Katz ’25 taking sixth, Tanish Chettiar ’26 taking seventh and Martin Riddell ’24 rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the overall first-place finish — marking the third time in the last four Big Three competitions when Yale’s men’s team had the top finisher — Karas focused on the team’s overall performance in his interview with the News.
“It’s great to start the season off with a team win,” Karas wrote to the News. “Practicing pack running in a lower-stakes race environment like HYP provided us with valuable experience that should pay off as the season progresses.”
The women’s team was led by two familiar faces from last season, senior captain Pretre with a seventh place finish and Linde Fonville ’26, a big first-year contributor last season, with a 10th place finish. They finished the 4k with times of 13:52 and 14:00, 5:35 and 5:38 pace, respectively. Rounding out the top five were Charlotte Whitehurst ’26 in 12th, Marisa Poe ’26 in 13th and Sophia Karperos ’24 in 22nd.
Regarding her team’s performance, women’s head coach Taryn Sheehan expressed pride not only in her top five runners’ finishes, but also in their hard work leading up to the season.
“Kyra did a great job of leading the women’s squad this weekend,” Sheehan wrote to the News. “I am really proud of her performance and glad to see all of her work coming to fruition … These young women are a great example of the commitment and belief these women have made to moving this program to the top of the League.”
Sheehan specifically mentioned “notable improvements” from second-year members Fonville, Poe and Whitehurst and acknowledged Karperos for an “incredibly strong start to the season.”
Men’s head coach Mat Gutridge looks for the Bulldogs to keep progressing as they continue to work and put more of their athletes on the course.
“We have several guys that didn’t race that will factor in as the season progresses,” Gutridge wrote to the News, “and I’m excited for the progress that the team has made, though we still have a lot of work in front of us.”
The Bulldogs race next at the Codfish Bowl Invitational in Boston, Mass., on Saturday, Sept. 23.