NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team will head to Bethlehem, Pa., this weekend for the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University. The Bulldogs will have six athletes in the Open Race Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. and 10 athletes in the Gold Race at 11:45 a.m. Both will be 6K races, the standard distance the women usually run. As the team's first opportunity to compete in such a large field, the Bulldogs will look to prove themselves amongst some of the nation's top teams.
"I'm looking forward to seeing our team compete again this weekend. We're looking to build upon our opener in a much larger meet," said the women's Cross Country Coach Amy Gosztyla regarding this weekends contest. "The goal is to continue to work together in our packs, while being surrounded by more competition. The women are doing a great job of keeping the big goals in mind for the season, and we'll be using this weekend as a build up to the championship season. We're excited for this opportunity and feel prepared to make the most of it."
This meet will be the first time No. 29 Yale gets to compete against other nationally ranked teams, specifically No. 19 Georgetown and No. 22 Penn, the only team ranked above Yale in the Ivy League. Yale's ability to stack up against these teams will prove instrumental to future success leading up to the Heptagonal and Northeast Regional Championships. How they fare will be important to watch for. The Bulldogs will also face off against most other Ivy League schools (except Princeton and Harvard), as well as other regionally ranked squads, like Villanova, amongst others.
The Bulldogs are looking to keep the momentum going from their performance at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, where they scored a commanding 20 points overall, easily winning the meet. Senior captain Frances Schmiede led the charge, taking second but just narrowly missing first place by less than a second. Running alongside her was Emily Waligurski, who took third, as well as junior Dana Klein, senior Meredith Rizzo and sophomore Andrea Masterson, who completed what was almost a sweep, taking fourth-through-sixth places. Across the board, however, the team had many great performances that truly overwhelmed the other competitors.
The Bulldogs' brilliant performance was so impressive that last week the USTFCCCA had ranked the team No. 23, by far the highest ranking in four years. Though the team was bumped down to No. 29 in this week's poll, this is probably due to the fact the team took a break last week. The Paul Short Run will surely offer the team a chance to move up the ranks, so to speak.
This week will also feature the debut of Gemma Shepherd, the British recruit in the incoming class who had a monstrous track season this past spring. Her times in both the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs were ranked nationally last year. Shepherd has also won a number of cross country championships. Though this might be her first collegiate race, her talent will surely make her a force to be reckoned with on the first day. She will add to the depth of an already impressive cross country roster.
The meet will take place Saturday morning. Results will be posted at this link, and will also be posted on yalebulldogs.com as they become available on Saturday.
Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity