September 21, 2013

Bulldogs Overcome Five Regional Competitors at Iona

Middle Distance Runners/Underclassmen Gain Regional Practice

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale Women's Cross Country team traveled to New York this Saturday to race in the  19th annual Brother John "Paddy" Doyle Iona College Meet of Champions. The Bulldogs brought six runners to the meet, mainly freshmen and middle-distance athletes, who used the race to gain valuable experience before joining the team's frontrunners next week in Boston. The site of the race was Van Cortlandt Park—the same course of the regional meet to be held in November.

In fact, the field was packed with 14 teams from the Northeast Region. Out of the 20 teams scored on Saturday, the Bulldogs placed 13th with 315 points. Other regional contenders included Albany, the meet's champion with 67 points, and Iona, the runner-up with 100 points. Fellow Ivy Brown University placed fourth (157 points). Still, despite the absence of Yale's top seven scorers at the meet, the squad finished ahead of five regional contenders, including UMass Lowell (15th - 389 points), Manhattan (16th - 441 points), St. John's (18th - 481 points), Siena (19th  - 511 points) and St. Francis (20th - 564 points).

Finishing first for the team was freshman Meredith Rizzo in 23:26.17.  She was 17th overall in a field of 190 competitors. Sophomore Shannon McDonnell covered the 6k course in 24:11.79 to place 51st in the race and second among her teammates. Freshman Emily Waligurski was not far behind at 24:14.70 and 55th place.

Still ahead much of the field, sophomore Anna-Sophie Harling snagged a time of 25:38.59 in a race much longer than those she is used to competing. Like her teammate, McDonnell, Harling frequently races in the 800-meter and 500-meter races during track season—further reason for all members of the team to gain experience in preparation for the season's higher-stake meets. Freshman Emily Barnes finished just seconds behind Harling at 25:48.58, while Alyssa LaGuardia, another middle-distance runner, rounded out the team performance in 27:42.38. 

The full team will be back in action next week at Boston College's meet in Franklin Park.

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity