Garry, Chapman, Rizzo Lead with Outstanding Performances
NEW YORK, NY—This Friday, the Yale women's cross country team competed in its last meet of the season—the NCAA Northeast Regionals held in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The team overcame Boston University (14th- 390 pts.) and Brown (15th- 394 pts.) to place 13th (385 pts.), ahead of 27 other teams. Providence won the meet with 44 points, followed by Dartmouth with 84. Though the Bulldogs will not be advancing on to the NCAA Championship, they will not let up as the 2013-2014 track season approaches.
Despite missing one of their top contenders for Friday's meet—senior Liana Epstein—many runners were able to maintain times close to their bests. Two competitors pushed themselves even further—senior captain Millie Chapman, who claimed her best 6k time of the season in 21:36.60 (56th), and freshman standout Meredith Rizzo—who knocked 8 seconds off her personal best from the Heptagonal Championships in 21:39.20 (60th).
Still, leading the pack was junior Kira Garry, a mere 5 seconds off her all-time best in 21.31.40 (54th). Head Women's Cross Country Coach Amy Gosztyla highlighted these performances, saying, "Kira, Millie, and Meredith all had outstanding days." All three runners finished the 6k race in well under 22 minutes.
The second freshman competitor to represent Yale at regionals was Chandler Olson. She was the first of a four-person pack to finish, claiming a time of 22:24.90. Junior Anna Demaree crossed the line a mere 2 seconds after (22:26.40), putting forward a solid effort for the Bulldogs in a 24-second improvement over her time at the Heptagonal Championships. Fellow junior Hannah Alpert finished in 22:37.40, while sophomore Elizabeth McDonald earned a time of 22:45.70, rounding out this tight knit crew.
Of Friday's results, Coach Gosztyla commented, "I was pleased with our 13th place finish overall considering we held Liana out today." She also discussed the team's effort throughout the season, explaining, "It's been a fun season seeing this group come together with many individuals contributing along the way." However, she also addressed the team's disappointment, saying, "…we definitely aren't satisfied with our season, and are excited to continue to improve this track (season)."
Her sentiments are likely shared by many of the team members—as most will return to help carry the squad next year. Freshmen such as Rizzo and Olson have demonstrated that they can keep up with some of the best of the Bulldogs, and will likely continue to excel. Team front-runner Kira Garry will also be return to spearhead the squad through one final cross country season. Before then, the entire team will take to the starting line again this December, when they tackle a variety of middle and long distance events during indoor track and field.
Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity