Team's Top Individual Award Bestowed to Nussbaum
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior Ryan Laemel assumed the captaincy of the cross country team after a vote by his teammates at the annual awards banquet on Monday. Head coach Paul Harkins described his new captain as "incredibly well-deserving" of the title, and expressed his confidence that Laemel's passion, dedication and leadership abilities would enable him to excel in the role. Laemel is a geology and geophysics major from nearby Orange, Conn. and is in Timothy Dwight College.
For Laemel, who closely followed Yale athletics growing up, his election is the fulfillment of a dream.
"I am honored and humbled to lead such an incredible group of student-athletes," he said. "Yale's cross country and track and field programs are starting to climb in the national rankings, so I am excited to play a big role in the programs' developments."
Looking back on the recently concluded season, Laemel noted the team's pronounced progress over last year. Specifically, he cited the Bulldogs' seventh-place finish at the prestigious Paul Short Invitational and eighth-place showing at Regionals, their best result since 2004. His goal for the coming year is to maintain this upward momentum and bring the team into contention for a spot at the national championships.
"Our team has a lot of talent and potential," he said. "Next year we would like to improve in all of our meets, but mostly in our post-season competitions. We will set our sights high."
Another highlight of the evening was sophomore Matthew Nussbaum's receipt of the Mike Stanley-John Cleary Class of 1954 Men's Cross Country Award, given annually to "the outstanding member of the Yale men's cross country team who excels in Dedication, Commitment, and Inspiration to the sport of cross country." The honor caps a banner year for Nussbaum, who led the Elis in five of the six races in which he competed. He also ran the fastest 8K time by a Yale runner in recent memory, collecting All-Ivy and All-New England accolades in the process and establishing himself as one of the best runners in the region.
Harkins attributed Nussbaum's success to his consistency and faith in his training. In particular, he observed that Nussbaum's ability to recover between hard days and races allowed him to steadily increase the intensity of his regimen.
"With him being a sophomore, I am excited to see him progress over the remainder of his Yale career," said Harkins. "He showed time and time again that he has the ability to run with some very, very good runners and he now has the confidence that he will be able to do that at any time, no matter what the race or season."
Nussbaum is from Haddonfield, N.J. and is in Silliman College. He is currently undecided on a major, though leaning toward history.
Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity