Coach Mark Young begins his 28th season at the helm of Yale's women's cross country team with plenty of reason for optimism. A primary reason for that s the returning Senior Captain and All-American Lindsay Donaldson.
Donaldson, one of the top collegians in the country, was 3rd at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships after having been 6th as a freshman in 2004. She is also the defending Ivy League Champion and the holder of the fastest Yale time ever run for 5000 meters at Van Cortlandt Park. Donaldson's supporting cast should be very solid. It includes track captain Elizabeth Calle '08, who was an NCAA regional Qualifier in the steeple chase in 2007 at 10:47.15. Calle's successful emergence during the 2007 outdoor tack season suggests that she is ready to be among the top runners in the Ivy League.
Allyson Rinderle '10 came to Yale with no previous running experience because she played soccer in high school. After having a very successful full year of running, which included an 18:08 best at Van Cortlandt Park and a 9:46 time in the 3000 meters outdoors, Rinderle seems poised to have an outstanding sophomore season. Also to be heavily counted upon will be junior Bevin Peters. Peters has a collegiate best of 9:53 for 3000 meters, and after a successful summer of training altitude in Kenya looks to be ready to be a major contributor for the team this year. Another runner among Yale's top group will be Stephanie Pearl '10. Like Rinderle Pearl is a former soccer player turned cross country runner. She was frequently in Yale's top 5 as a freshman, and after a full year devoted to running should be ready to make a significant contribution to the team's success.
Others who will battle for positions in Yale's top group include senior 800 meter standouts Ingrid Sproll and Meredith Leenhouts. Both have demonstrated the ability to extend their range and have a very realistic chance to make major contributions to Yale's quest for a successful 2007 season.
Additionally Kelli Buck '09 was a key contributor in 2006, having been Yale's #3 at the NCAA Pre-National before falling victim to illness. She is a 4:57 miler whose consistency and reliability always make her a factor.
Claire Leatherwood '09, Alexandra Cadicamo '10 and Kathryn Schleckser '09 will all be in the hunt for spots in Yale's top 7. Leatherwood was frequently in the top 7 in last year's campaign. The top freshman is Mary Caroline Miller from Midlothian High School in Virginia. Miller brings experience from being on one of the nations best high school teams in '06 and has talent as a 4:55 miler in high school.
Yes, Coach Young has much to be optimistic about for the '07 season.