BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Yale women won the Paul Short Invitational College Gold Race on Saturday, out-running competition from across the nation. Andrea Masterson was the top finisher for Yale and finished fourth overall in a deep field.
Despite rain earlier in the week leaving the course muddy and more challenging, the weather at Lehigh proved beautiful for the day of the annual Paul Short Invitational. As expected, the fields were large, with 376 finishers in the College Open Race and 353 finishers in the College Gold Race. The day of racing kicked off with the women's College Open Race featuring Yale's junior varsity group of eight athletes. Soon after, the College Gold Race took off, with seven athletes finishing for the Bulldogs.
The highlight of the day was Yale's win in the College Gold Race. In a race featuring top Division I teams from across the country, the Bulldogs asserted the depth of their top five athletes and finished in first by nine points over second-place Georgia (ranked No. 20 nationally by the most recent USTFCCCA poll). Notably, Yale also finished well ahead of third-place finisher Utah State, who was most recently ranked No. 14 nationally by USTFCCA. Over the course of the race, the Bulldogs moved through the field, exhibiting both patience and endurance to win the race after coming through the first mile marker in sixth place.
This is the second time in the past three years the Bulldogs have won the Gold Race.
Senior captain Andrea Masterson was yet again the top finisher for the Bulldogs. She crossed the line in a new lifetime best of 20:37, finishing fourth overall. Again, first-year athletes Jocelyn Chau and Morgan McCormick finished in the top three for the Bulldogs, separated by just 10 seconds. Chau finished 13th overall, running a time of 21:02, and McCormick was not far behind running a time of 21:12, good for 21st overall. Sophomore Sevanne Ghazarian was only three seconds behind McCormick and ran a time of 21:15 for 24th place. Kayley DeLay was the final scorer for the day, earning 56th place with a time of 21:48.
Juniors Arianna Lord and Jane Miller crossed the line in exactly the same time of 22:15, earning them spots well-within the top third of the field. For Lord, this is a particularly impressive result considering that this was her first 6k race. For the second straight race, Miller ran a new lifetime best.
The Yale women in the College Open Race finished sixth as a team, towards the front of the field of the 34 teams. For six of the eight Yale finishers in the open race, this was their first ever 6k. Given the challenge of an additional kilometer on a grassy course, these results highlight the younger athletes' ability to navigate the additional distance successfully.
Sophomore Megan Quimby furthered her remarkable improvement as a cross country athlete, crossing the line first for Yale in her first ever 6k. She finished 31st overall and ran a time of 22:54. Junior Lauren Chapey finished less than 10 seconds behind with a time of 23:03, good for 38th place.
Samantha Friborg also ran her first 6k today. She was the third finisher for Yale in the College Open race, running a time of 23:47. Close behind was junior Hannah Steffke who crossed the line in 23:51. Chloe Jensen finished fifth, in the final scoring position, for the Bulldogs. All finishing within 30 seconds of Jensen were Sarah Pillard, Rachel Suss, and Abigail Long.
The dominant Bulldogs' finish at the Paul Short Invitational is a promising indicator of what is to come for the rest of the season, especially considering their team finish ahead of several nationally ranked teams. Building off the solid season opener, first-year athletes and veterans alike exhibited impressive ability, patience and endurance across the 6k course. The next few weeks will be spent preparing for the next match-up against inter-regional competition: the Pre-Nationals Invitational held in Madison, Wisc.
Recap by Yale Sports Publicity.