Randon Claims Top Spot in Tight Race, Team Places Second with Many Personal Bests
PRINCETON, N.J.—At the Princeton Invite on Saturday, senior captain James Randon led the Yale men's cross country team in its best race of the season thus far. The athletes demonstrated tremendous strength and growth, with six setting personal bests of more than 20 seconds. Randon won the race, while the team placed second overall with 104 points. These performances will help the team generate momentum heading into the Ivy League Championships, which are just two weeks away. The Elis' fast times will be especially helpful because the Ivy League Championships will be held on the same course as this meet. Columbia won the Princeton Invite, while Penn took third.
Randon ran his fastest time of the season thus far and the second-fastest of his collegiate career on Saturday. He surged to victory with a time of 24:01.5, pulling away with Maryland-Eastern Shore's Khalil Rmidi Kinini in the last two miles. While they were in a group of at least 30 athletes at the three-mile mark, by the end of the race Randon had put more than 20 seconds between himself and the third-place finisher. Furthermore, Randon sped up by more than 20 seconds per mile in the latter half of the race and ended strong enough to edge Rmidi Kinini by 1.4 seconds at the finish. This race shows how Randon can make a competitive bid for a spot at the NCAA National Championships by running well at Regionals in less than a month.
Junior Hale Ross continued his stellar season with another personal best. He finished the eight-kilometer race in 24:42.9, placing 21st. Over the course of the season so far, Ross has lowered his personal best by almost a minute. His trajectory of improvement certainly suggests that he can do even better in the next few weeks at the most important competitions of the season.
By almost any standard, sophomore Trevor Reinhart ran a fast time on Saturday, but his run is even more impressive because it marks his first collegiate cross country competition. He placed 22nd overall and just a tenth of a second behind Ross (24:43.0). In a come-from-behind run, Reinhart passed more than 15 athletes in the final two miles of the race. He will certainly be an important addition to the racing roster and could make a significant impact on the team's place at the Ivy League Championships.
Following Reinhart, freshman Allen Siegler and junior Ryan Brady placed 26th and 34th, respectively. These two athletes earned the largest personal bests of the day, with Siegler setting a personal best of more than 50 seconds and Brady running more than 40 seconds faster than he ever has before. In what has become an impressive pattern for Siegler, this marks his third consecutive personal best and is his largest by a wide margin. Siegler ran a time of 24:45.1, while Brady finished in 24:53.3.
Senior Andre Ivankovic and freshman Armstrong Noonan rounded out the Elis' top seven, finishing less than a second apart. Ivankovic ended the race with a season-best time of 24:58.5, while Noonan earned a personal best of almost 40 seconds with his time of 24:59.4. The two athletes finished 42nd and 43rd, respectively.
In his season debut, junior Cameron Stanish placed 65th with a time of 25:13.3. Just behind was fellow junior Matt Chisholm, who ran a time of 25:14.7 for a personal best of more than 30 seconds. He finished 71st overall.
Senior Spike Sievert finished with a season-best time of 25:22.2 in 82nd place.
These athletes will likely be resting and training next weekend for the Ivy League Championships, but the team will send runners to CCSU on Oct. 22 for the CCSU Mini Meet. The Ivy League Championships are scheduled for Oct. 29. Full results from the Princeton Invite can be found here.
Report by Joseph Battles '18, Yale Sports Publicity