Invitational Offers a Preview of the Heps Course
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team will travel to Princeton, N.J., this weekend to compete in the Princeton Invitational. The six-kilometer course is the same that the team will run at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 29, so this Saturday's meet offers a welcome preview of the course for that race. 21 teams will participate in the Invitational, considerably more than the eight that will compete at Heps, allowing the Bulldogs to see how they might perform on the course in a large field. This kind of preview is valuable information for a team that received 16 votes in the USTFCCCA's national rankings last week, meaning it is ranked 32nd in the country. The Bulldogs are also ranked third overall in the Northeast region.
Four other Ivy schools will compete at the Princeton Invitational. Columbia, Cornell, Penn and No. 30 Princeton will all suit up on Saturday, though their squads will be split between this meet and others around the country.
This weekend "is a great opportunity for us to prepare for Heps by getting a feel for the course at Princeton. This is a new site for the Heps Championship, so we wanted to go down to preview the course in a competitive setting," said head coach Amy Gosztyla.
"We're having a terrific season this year," evidenced in the team's rankings this past week, "and I am excited to continue to build on that success not only this weekend, but in the championship meets over the next four weeks," said Gosztyla. The championship meets begin with Heps and continue through the NCAA Championships in November.
Senior captain Anne Lovelace is also optimistic about the team's chances for success going into the post-season championship races.
"The team keeps looking stronger all the time. Coming off a great performance at Paul Short and another two weeks of hard training, I'm excited to see what we can do on the Princeton course. This meet is really important for building confidence and familiarizing ourselves with the Heps course," she commented.
The meet holds some nostalgic significance as well: "This weekend is also an opportunity for the entire team to compete together. It will be the last race for some girls," said Lovelace.
The women's championship 6k will take place at 10:30 a.m. and the women's open 6k will begin at 12:00 p.m. Sophomore Melissa Chapman, junior Jennifer Donnelly, freshman Kira Garry, junior Caitlin Hudson, junior Nihal Kayali, Lovelace, junior Elizabeth Marvin, senior Lindsey Raymond and junior Jacque Sahlberg will represent Yale in the championship race. Senior Madeline Adams, freshman Hannah Alpert, sophomore Sarah Barry, freshman Anna Demaree, junior Victoria Flannery, freshman Samantha Fry, senior Kristin Johnson, freshman Alyssa LaGuardia and sophomore Rachel O'Driscoll will also compete.
Results will be posted at www.yalebulldogs.com when they are available.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity