Junior Represents Team's Communal Strength
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This past Monday, Dec. 9, the Yale women's cross country team held its annual banquet, electing junior Hannah Alpert as the 2014 captain. A Davenport astronomy and physics major from Needham, Mass., Alpert is ready to take on the role, including the challenges and rewards it will bring.
As a dedicated member of a team that has shown its strength in unity, Alpert expressed her appreciation for her teammates, saying, "I'm incredibly honored to have been elected captain for this coming cross-country season. I'm constantly inspired by how every person on the team has such a positive attitude and consistently shows dedication, work ethic, and care for the team as a whole."
Head Women's Cross Country Coach Amy Gosztyla believes Alpert has been one of those dedicated members from the start of her career.
"Hannah has worked consistently hard over the past two years improving each season, which led to her breakout season this fall," she said, discussing the rare path Alpert has taken in her collegiate career. "With that success, she has emerged as one of our many great leaders in the program."
The 2013 cross country season proved to be Alpert's best yet. During her freshman and sophomore years, Alpert did not often compete with the team's top seven. Yet, her strong work ethic led her to continue improving with each race. This season, she demonstrated the returns on her efforts in the very first meet of the year, when she finished in the team's top five at Harvard-Yale.
As the Bulldogs' third-scorer at Boston College, Alpert took a considerable 20 seconds off her finish at Harvard-Yale in a performance that would be her finest of the season. Her time of 18:24 is her best time in a cross country race to date, though her performance during outdoor track last year in a race of the same length marks her personal best at 17:54. Not soon after, she earned her personal best in the 6k distance (22:03) at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, again finishing as the third Bulldog to cross the line.
Alpert concluded her season by racing in the team's top seven at both the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and the NCAA Northeast Regional meet. This was an exciting accomplishment for the junior, who had previously not competed in a championship meet.
"I'm confident she will lead the team to great success next year," Coach Gosztyla affirmed. Alpert will look to share her experience with her teammates and the rookie class next year, as they work to advance further in the championship meets and improve on this year's results.
Of the Bulldogs' hopes for the 2014 season, Alpert said, "While none of us were completely satisfied with this past season, I am confident that this team is going to make vast improvements in the coming season. The team means so much to me, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to continue to impact it over the coming year."
Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity