Pearl Finishes Third, Freshman Marvin Fourth
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale Women’s Cross Country team traveled to Fairfield, Conn. Saturday morning for the Fairfield Invitational. The Bulldogs came in a strong second place finish with 34 points, only six points behind the first-place University of Connecticut team, which finished the meet with 28 points.
The competition included six other teams from the region: UConn, University of New Haven, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Bridgeport and Siena. UConn and UMass posed the biggest threat to the Bulldogs, but Yale finished 28 points ahead of third-place UMass.
“It was a good race for seeing where people are,” senior captain Stephany Reaves said. “We were happy. It was definitely a race to just get our feet wet, to get used to racing 5k again. It was a typical fall day: overcast and breezy, but the rain held off.”
Yale’s top finisher was senior Stephanie Pearl, who finished third in 18:57, close on the heels of UConn freshman Megan Jacoby. Last year Pearl won this meet with a time of 18:49 – the exact same time of the first-place runner this year.
Not far behind Pearl, with a time of 19:08, was freshman Elizabeth Marvin. This third-place finish is a great first performance for the freshman, and we will be looking to her for more finishes among Yale’s top-five throughout the season.
Sophomore Anne Lovelace was the next Bulldog to cross the finish line, in sixth place (19:19), and was followed immediately by Reaves (19:20). Rounding out the five scoring runners was sophomore Jennifer Downing in 15th place (19:35). The spread between Yale’s top five was only 38 seconds, which is good; the closer together the runners are, the better.
Although only the positions of the top five runners make up the team’s score, the sixth and seventh finishers for the team are essential: their places are taken into account in determining the scores of other teams. A good showing by these non-scoring runners can push up the other teams’ scores. Yale’s sixth and seventh at Fairfield were both freshmen: Nihal Kayali, who finished behind Downing in 16th pace in 19:38, and Victoria Flannery, who finished in 20:12.
Though they couldn’t directly contribute to the team’s standing, fellow freshmen Caitlin Hudson and Jennifer Donnelly finished close behind, in 20:13 and 20:19, respectively. The spread between these last three freshmen was only seven seconds – a sign that they could be a force to be reckoned with as they all improve together.
Mark Young, the Mark T. Young ’68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field said: “We are quite satisfied with our result today as it is our first meet. The final score was close, and we had four runners in before UConn, and our fifth and sixth were just behind their number five. Of particular note was that four of our top eight were freshmen and two more were sophomores. A good job by the youth movement and the senior Stephanie(y)s. We have much improving to do, but what we saw today gives us good reason to think that that can happen.”
The Bulldogs will split up next weekend: many will travel to New York City to compete in the Iona Invitational at the famed Van Cortlandt Park, while some will stay nearby to compete in the Quinnipiac Invitational in Hamden, Conn.
Report by Kyle Eichner ‘12, Yale Sports Publicity