Bulldogs Claim Eight of Top 11 Spots, Win Fordham Fiasco

Melissa Chapman. (photo by Katrina Garry)

Chapman Paces Team, Places First

THE BRONX, N.Y. – Members of the Yale women's cross country team grabbed eight of the top 11 spots en route to winning the season-opening Fordham Fiasco on Saturday. The team combined for 17 points, almost a perfect score in cross country, to blow away the rest of the Division I field, as well as the 12 Division III teams competing.

Junior Millie Chapman covered Van Cortlandt's five kilometers faster than any other athlete on the course across all three divisions, including unattached athletes. She blazed through the course in 18:19.32, followed closely by senior Elizabeth Marvin in 18:24.12. Chapman's effort makes her the two-time defending Fordham Fiasco champion, as she also won the meet in 2011. Two more Bulldogs and almost a minute would pass before a member of any other team crossed the finish line. Freshman Emily Stark, in her first collegiate competition, was third overall in 18:37.56 and senior Caitlin Hudson was fourth in 18:41.35. Junior Sarah Barry rounded out the Bulldogs' scoring in seventh overall at 19:28.42. Senior Jennifer Donnelly (8th- 19:44.79) and sophomore Hannah Alpert (10th- 19:50.50) also had top-10 finishes for Yale. Alpert narrowly edged out senior Tori Flannery (11th- 19:51.20) for the distinction. Freshman Elizabeth McDonald also competed for the Bulldogs, placing 23rd in 20:42.49.

Despite the soaking wet conditions, the Bulldogs were able to focus on running together in groups and turning up the volume through the final fifth of the race, said head coach Amy Gosztyla: "The girls did an excellent job with this and finished really strong," she commented.

Senior captain Nihal Kayali noted that the team had hoped that the meet would, above all, serve as a transition back into racing this season. 

"It's encouraging to kick off the season with a near-sweep and strong performances all around. It does seem, though, that our goal of using this meet to get our feet wet was taken a bit too literally for our taste," she said.

"There's nothing more exciting than watching the leaders of the race barrel in to the final straightaway, only to find that the first four of them are all wearing the 'Y'!" Kayali said of the Bulldogs' dominance over the rest of the field.

Rider University was second in the Division I group with 58 points, followed by host Fordham with 62 points. Columbia was also slated to compete, but will instead race at the Vermont Invitational on Sunday. Full results are available at http://www.fordhamsports.com/sports/w-xc/stats/2012-2013/womens5kfordham9.8.html. The Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday when they host Harvard and Princeton at The Course at Yale.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity