Women's Cross Country Outlook 2004

August 17, 2004

The 2004 edition of the Yale Women's cross Country team should once again contend for the Heptagonal Ivy League Championship and a berth at the NCAA Championships. Boasting three Footlocker finalists and two runners-up from last spring's Outdoor Heps, the team is young, talented and deep.

The Elis will be led by senior captain Anne Martin, the Yale record holder and NCAA Regional Qualifier in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Martin was runner-up in that event at the Outdoor Heps and 3rd in the ECACs as well. A fierce competitor, she will provide terrific leadership for what will be a young team. Senior Susan Chan was consistently in Yale's top five a year ago and finished 5th overall at the 2003 ECAC Championships. She too is a terrific competitor and good leader.

Yale's top returnee from last year's team is sophomore Cara Kiernan. Fifth at the Heps Cross Country Championships, Kiernan was a NCAA qualifier in cross country and at 5,000 meters in outdoor track. With a 16:17 5K PR, she should continue to be at or near the front of the pack for the Elis.

Junior Melissa Donais, winner of the 1999 Footlocker at Van Cortlandt Park, has consistently been in Yale's top two or three in each of her first two seasons at Yale. A determined and gritty competitor, Donais should team with Kiernan to give Yale low numbers at the top of the Eli pack.

Junior Emily Vince has run 18:28 at Van Cortlandt and is one of seven members of the team to have been under 18:30 on the famed course. She was consistently in Yale's top seven last year. Sophomores Ashley Campbell, Katie McKinstry and Claire Hamilton also figure to be in Yale's top group. Campbell was 2nd at Outdoor Heps in the 1,500, running 4:29, while McKinstry was 13th at the ECAC Cross Country Championships. Hamilton finished off a strong freshman campaign by qualifying for the Regionals in the steeplechase.

Adding to Coach Mark Young's reasons to feel confident about the upcoming season is the addition of freshman Lindsay Donaldson. In her first season of cross country, Donaldson was a 2003 Footlocker finalist, finishing 16th. She capped off her brilliant high school career with a 4:46 mile at the 2004 Outdoor Nationals. She should make an immediate impact on the Yale team.

Further contributions are expected from Vanessa Everding '05, Lauren Davis '06, Katie Matlack '06 and freshmen Betsy Boucher and Liz Calle. This should be a great team to follow.

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