Race Time Conditions Below Freezing for NCAAs as Bulldogs Look to Qualify for Nationals
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team will gear up for the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships this Friday in Amherst, N.Y. Hosted by the University of Buffalo, this championship brings together all 39 of the Division I teams from the Northeast Region to decide who qualifies for Nationals. The top two teams automatically qualify, while a third team can receive an at-large bid. The women's championship race will be a 6k that kicks off at 11:00 a.m.
Unfortunately, the team will face blisteringly cold temperatures, with race-time conditions predicted to hover around 23°F, and a wind chill of 11°F. With possible snow showers on Thursday night, the Bulldogs might face a treacherous course at the Audubon Golf Course.
Yet regardless of the conditions, the Bulldogs feel ready for this last competition. According to women's cross country coach Amy Gosztyla, "Coming off our strong team performance at Heps we feel really prepared and excited to get after the race on Friday. Our goal is to finish top 3 and give ourselves as good of a chance as possible to qualify for NCAAs."
Last week, the team had an impressive showing, placing third with the help of three All-Ivy performances. Junior Andrea Masterson, in particular, took home second place, which is the highest placement of any Bulldog on the women's team since 2006. First years Kayley DeLay and Sevanne Ghazarian also impressed, taking 12th and seventh, respectively. All three will compete this weekend.
Yet a crucial part in determining the team's success this weekend is how the final two scorers on the Bulldogs perform. While the Bulldogs finished a close third behind No. 24 Columbia and No. 30 Dartmouth, what helped push Columbia to victory is how close all five runners finished. With such a strong frontrunner, the other Bulldogs need to have as small a spread as possible to guarantee success. So, the remaining athletes on the team, seniors Melissa Fairchild, Dana Klein and Katherine Raphael and sophomore Jane Miller, will ultimately determine the team's fate.
In addition to qualifying as a team, individuals will also have the opportunity to qualify for NCAAs. Per the NCAA regulations, the top four athletes not on a qualifying team will also earn a trip to Nationals.
All that being said, if and when any Bulldog does qualify for Nationals, it will be reported here on yalebulldogs.com
Live results, as well as a free Facebook livestream, can be found at the links above. The women's race will kick off at 11:00 a.m.
Preview by Ariel Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity