November 2, 2013

Freshmen Improve Individually at Heps

Four Bulldogs Claim Personal Bests

PRINCETON, N.J.—Yale women's cross country concluded its first championship meet this Saturday. The team's trip to Princeton, New Jersey, for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships resulted in an eighth-place finish (182 points). Dartmouth took the meet with 31 points, followed by Cornell with 66th. Though the team's overall finish on Saturday may leave them seeking a second chance—soon to come in the NCAA Northeast Regionals—at least four individual competitors were able to claim their best races to date. Three of these runners were freshmen—allowing for optimism as the team looks to future seasons.

Bulldog frontrunner Liana Epstein finished the 6,000-kilometer course in 21:31, an eight second improvement on her performance at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. She earned 20th place out of the 90 competitors from the eight Ivies. In an unanticipated twist, freshman Meredith Rizzo nabbed the spot as the team's second-highest scorer. Her time of 21:47 brought her 34th and a new personal best. The time marks a 17 second improvement over her finish in Wisconsin. Sophomore Elizabeth McDonald saw similar growth in her performance, as she took 40th place in yet another of the day's personal bests. She finished just milliseconds ahead of senior captain Millie Chapman, both in 21:59 (41st). 

Freshman Chandler Olson beat her previous 6,000-kilometer record by eleven seconds, placing 51st  as the team's fifth-scorer and setting her new time-to-beat at 22:11. Juniors Hannah Alpert (58th  - 22:27) and Kira Garry (63rd - 22:34) were next to cross the line, completing the team's top seven finishers.

Junior Anna Demaree placed 80th with her time of 22:50, while senior Sarah Barry followed in 23:08 (84th). Sophomore Emily Stark was 87th in 23:28, while freshman Emily Waligurski walked away with a 33-second improvement on her performance at the Iona Meet of Champions. She sets her new collegiate personal best at 23:41.

On Nov. 15, the team will look to improve its performance as a whole at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships in Van Cortlandt Park.

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity