NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- No. 24 ranked Yale is traveling to Madison, Wisc., this weekend to take on high caliber competition from across the country at the Pre-Nationals Invitational. The top seven athletes will be traveling to represent the Bulldogs.
The meet is hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Madison on the Thomas Zimmer Course. The weather is forecasted to be significantly cooler than the weather the team has been experiencing in New Haven, with highs around 50 degrees. Yale will be racing in the White Race scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m., featuring top ranked teams New Mexico (No. 3), Stanford (No. 5), Wisconsin (No. 8) and Michigan (No. 10), among others.
Traveling to this meet provides an opportunity to race on the same course as the upcoming NCAA Championship. In past years, the teams with high finishes at this meet have gone on to earn qualifying spots for the national championship.
Seven women are slated to represent the Bulldogs on Saturday. The varsity squad includes representation from all class years. For just over half of those traveling, this will be their first time competing at the Thomas Zimmer Course.
Head women's cross country coach Amy Gosztyla sees this meet as an invaluable opportunity for newcomers and returners alike.
"We have a young varsity group this season, so the race will also be an opportunity to get experience racing and working on running our own race within a very large, competitive field," she explained. "It's one of the only couple meets all year that can truly prepare you for what the NCAA Championships feels like."
Kayley DeLay, Sevanne Ghazarian and Andrea Masterson all competed on this course last year at the Wisconsin Invitational. Their familiarity with the course will likely serve them well as they navigate the large, competitive field this weekend.
Newcomers to the Wisconsin course are Jocelyn Chau, Arianna Lord, Morgan McCormick and Jane Miller. All of these athletes have had breakout seasons this year, recording new lifetime bests and finishing in the top-seven in the early season. The performances of these athletes so far, and improvement over the course of the season, puts them in a good spot for the upcoming weekend.
The Bulldogs' consistent movement up the regional and national rankings during the season so far puts them in a promising position heading into this weekend. Pre-Nationals provides an invaluable opportunity to race against competitors that will likely be at the NCAA Championships in November on same course as the national meet.
Gosztyla is optimistic about the coming weekend.
"The team has been progressing incredibly well this season," she said. "Team energy is high and we are excited to continue and build into the championship season."
Preview by Yale Sports Publicity.