With Veterans Resting, Younger Athletes Run to Seventh-Place Finish
THE BRONX, N.Y.—The younger members of the Yale men's cross country team led the squad to a seventh-place finish at the 20th annual Iona Meet of Champions on Saturday at The Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park. With most of the team's veterans getting a well-deserved rest this weekend after last weekend's strong showing at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton season opener, only six Bulldogs competed in New York on Saturday. The group ran well and gained valuable experience competing against athletes from a range of talented programs. While the Elis finished the day with 208 points, Arkansas finished first with 46 points. Fordham (67 points), Brown (96), UMass Lowell (132), Buffalo (157) and Army (170) finished second through sixth, respectively.
Yale's top three finishers on Saturday were all freshmen. After placing in Yale's top seven in his first collegiate race last weekend, freshman Hale Ross (26:29.09) was the Bulldogs' top finisher in New York, finishing 24th overall. A Washington, D.C. native who received honorable mention in the Washington Post's All-Metropolitan Team for Cross Country as both a junior and senior, Ross appears poised to compete for one of Yale's top seven week in and week out in his first collegiate season. Freshman Ryan Brady (26:30.98), meanwhile, finished second on the team and 26th overall. Like Ross, Brady—a North Carolina resident—entered Yale with an impressive athletic resume from high school, having earned All-Conference and All-State honors as senior. Freshman Adam Houston (26:33.46) crossed the finish line just behind Brady, placing 28th overall. Houston was a three-time Washington state championship qualifier in high school, and he has run well in his first two collegiate meets. The Elis' depth was apparent on Saturday, as Houston finished ahead of the third-place team finisher from all but three of the schools competing in the race.
Sophomore Spike Sievert (53rd – 27:03.07) was the next Bulldog to finish after Houston, and not far behind was junior Max Payson (27:32.94). Sophomore J.P. Meredith (28:57.28) placed sixth on the team.
The Iona Meet of Champions is always an important meet for the Elis, given that it is run at Van Cortlandt Park—the same course on which the NCAA Division I Northeast Regional Championship is held. The experience some of Yale's younger athletes gained on Saturday could prove key when the postseason approaches later this year.
Next week, the Bulldogs should be well-rested and in full force when they make the trek to Bethlehem, Penn., for the Paul Short Invitational on Oct. 4.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity