Bulldogs First at Princeton Invite

Liana Epstein. (photo by Tim O'Dowd)

Bulldogs Finish 1-2-3-4-5

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Yale women's cross country team finished first overall in the Princeton Invitational on Saturday, sweeping the top five places to score a perfect 15 points, the lowest possible total. Seven athletes placed in the top 13, and the scoring runners finished within 35 seconds of each other. The team got a valuable chance to preview the site of this year's Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, to be held on Oct. 29. 

Sophomore Liana Epstein led the team as the first runner across the line, finishing in 21:41. She was followed by sophomore Melissa Chapman (21:49), junior Elizabeth Marvin (22:00), junior Nihal Kayali (22:15) and junior Caitlin Hudson (22:16). Five Yale blue jerseys crossed the finish line before a finisher from any other team. The rest of the Bulldog runners competing in the championship race were not far behind. Freshman Kira Garry (22:36), senior Lindsey Raymond (22:53), junior Jacque Sahlberg (22:57), junior Jennifer Donnelly (23:10) and senior captain Anne Lovelace (23:39) kept the Bulldogs' pace intense throughout the meet. The team's tight grouping propelled them to an impressive finish. Altogether, 97 runners competed.

"We went into today's race very focused on working together and we had a great result with a perfect team score," said head coach Amy Gosztyla. "We've been building a strong team as the season has progressed. We're in a great spot heading into the championship races ahead," she commented. 

Several Bulldogs also competed in the open race, combining to score second overall just behind St. Joseph's (Pa.). Sophomore Sarah Barry lead the way by finishing second individually. 

"The team is getting stronger each week, which is really exciting for the future of the program," said Gosztyla.

The team will face off against the rest of the Ivy League on Oct. 29 in Princeton, marking the beginning of the championship season. The Bulldogs, after their chance to compete on the race's course, will hope to use that information to their advantage amidst a competitive Ivy field.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity