Strong Finish Against Nationally-Ranked Competition
University Park, Pa. - The women's cross country team finished eighth out of thirty-one teams at the Penn State National meet, including No. 1 Villanova, No. 7 Syracuse, and No. 30 Penn State. Junior Jennifer Downing led the Bulldogs in 44th place overall at 21:52.
Downing was followed by junior Anne Lovelace (51st, 22:02), sophomore Caitlin Hudson (58th, 22:11), freshman Melissa Chapman (62nd, 22:14) and sophomore Elizabeth Marvin (63rd, 22:14). With only 22 seconds between Downing and Marvin, the Bulldogs' tightly-packed finishes propelled them to their impressive score. Junior Jacque Sahlberg finished sixth for Yale (77th, 22:25) and freshman Sarah Barry finished seventh (97th, 22:47).
Head Coach Mark Young '68, the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field was pleased with his team's performance. "We wanted to try to be in the top ten, and we achieved that. We wanted to have a narrow gap between the first five runners," he said. Yale's pack attack was bested only by second-place Syracuse's spread of 20 seconds.
The Bulldogs combined for 278 points, barely edging Penn, which finished ninth with 289 points. Another Ivy rival, Cornell, was seventh with 214 points. Villanova took first with 26 points. In 2008, Yale finished 13th overall at the Penn State National. "This is a significant improvement. We're a lot better this year than we were two years ago," reflected Coach Young.
As the Ivy League Championships (Heptagonals) approach, the Bulldogs will be anxious to find out exactly how much they've improved. "We want to beat some teams at Heps," Coach Young said of the highly-anticipated meet.
The Bulldogs will take on the rest of the Ivy League at Van Cortlandt Park in New York on Oct. 29.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity