No. 22 Cross Country Looks to Take Heps by Storm

Millie Chapman and Nihal Kayali (credit Jim Hudson).
Millie Chapman and Nihal Kayali (credit Jim Hudson).

Bulldogs on the Rise in Ivy League

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team, currently ranked 22nd in the nation, will travel to Princeton to compete in the annual Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Saturday. The Bulldogs are positioned to make a statement this year, more so than they have been in many years past. Yale's best finish at Heps in the past nine years was third in 2004; the Bulldogs were a triumphant fourth last year after placing eighth for three years before that.

2012 heralded the team's first national ranking since 2005, and the only Ivy also currently ranked is No. 7 Cornell, meaning that the Bulldogs may have a clear shot at improving on last year's performance. Columbia was ranked 23rd for a few weeks, but has since been dropped from the polls after competing without a key racer. Cornell was last year's Ivy champion as well.

Five different Bulldogs have lead the team in its six races so far this season, all of whom will be competing at Heps. Junior Millie Chapman has earned that distinction twice, and sophomore Anna Demaree, junior Liana Epstein, senior Annelies Gamble and senior captain Nihal Kayali have all placed first on the team as well.

They have been complemented by a talented group of Bulldogs who will also compete on Saturday, including freshman Isabel Amend, junior Sarah Barry, senior Jennifer Donnelly, sophomore Kira Garry, senior Caitlin Hudson, senior Elizabeth Marvin and freshman Emily Stark.

Kayali said that the team is excited to focus solely on Ivy competition this weekend, after having "been conscious of how [the team has] stacked up against other Ivies" throughout the rest of the season." 

"Our goal is to place in the top three at Heps and to threaten Cornell for the championship trophy. This year the Ivy League has improved remarkably and the level of competition is going to be high across the board. That being said, we have raised standards for ourselves this year and we fully intend to get our team on the Heps podium," Kayali commented.

The meet website, with course maps and directions, is available here. The women's 6k race will begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men's 8k at noon. Results will be available on the meet website and after the race. 

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity