Place Third at Dartmouth Meet
HANOVER, N.H. – The Bulldogs opened their season with a third-place finish at the Dartmouth Invitational with 68 points. Although they fell off from an aggressive start to the race, several runners put on strong performances after recovering from injuries the past year.
The Bulldogs ran strong for the first two miles of the Hanover Country Club course before battling through a steep hill in the last mile. Head coach Mark Young, Yale's Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, said he had expected the team's summer training would be enough to prepare them for the last mile, but overall, he was satisfied with the results.
"I'm okay with the last mile for what we've done so far," Young said. "You're always at a disadvantage when you're on someone else's home course, one that they train on everyday."
Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin was the Bulldogs' frontrunner, crossing the line in third place in 20:36.15. Marvin, who had several strong races in the beginning of her freshman cross country season before injury hampered the rest of her year, looks ready for a comeback. Junior Anne Lovelace came in next at seventh in 20:43.90.
Next was junior Jennifer Downing who led the race for the first two miles before taking a wrong turn that cost her some distance and finished in 14th place (20:53.07). Rounding out the Bulldogs' top seven were Jacque Sahlberg in 20th place (21:10.37), freshman Melissa Chapman in 29th place (21:25.92), freshman Sarah Barry in 37th place (21:37.63) and senior captain Liya Assefa in 42nd place (21:40.42).
Sahlberg, who ran her debut race with the Bulldogs' cross country team after two seasons with Yale soccer, is also coming back from taking a semester leave to recover from foot surgery she received a year ago.
"I didn't make a big deal, she didn't make a big deal, but for her, it was a very big deal," Young said.
The Big Green won their invitational with 43 points, followed by Middlebury with 49 points.
The Bulldogs will next compete at the Quinnipiac Invitational on Sept. 18 in Hamden, Conn. All of the runners who did not run at Dartmouth will compete at Quinnipiac.
Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity