No. 17 Bulldogs to Face Off Against 18 Ranked Teams in Biggest Meet of the Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team heads to Wisconsin this weekend for its greatest challenge this season: the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. The Bulldogs will compete against many of the top squads in the nation this weekend, including No. 1 Providence, the top squad in the nation throughout the entire season. No. 17 Yale will run on the notorious Zimmer Course, a 6k route that will surely test all the preparation they've had this season.
"We're excited to compete against some of the top schools in the country this weekend," said the women's Cross Country Coach Amy Gosztyla. The team is focused on continuing to run our own race plan within a very large competitive field. This meet will help us get ready for the NCAA Championships and it is a stepping stone to get to that meet.
The Bulldogs will face an all-star list of colleges, including No.1 Providence, No. 3 North Carolina State, No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Michigan State and No. 10 Boise State, just to name a few of a total of the 18 ranked teams that will toe the line on Friday afternoon. This list of 30 teams also includes seven teams who also received at least some votes in last week's USTFCCCA poll. The field this weekend also includes the four highest-ranking Ivy League schools (Columbia, No. 29 Harvard, No. 26 Penn and Princeton) as well as a preview of the top contenders at the Northeast Regional meet (No. 1 Providence, No. 20 Syracuse and No. 29 Harvard). In other words, this meet will surely be crucial to the team's success down the road.
Yet the Bulldogs are ready for this highly anticipated meet: the team's top runners are coming off a commanding victory at the Paul Short Invite against higher-ranked teams at the time. Senior Emily Waligurski led the team at that meet, pushing past a tight pack to lock in fifth place. She and senior captain Frances Schmiede have each led the team in its first two highly competitive meets and will look to match their performances on Friday.
At the Paul Short Run, sophomore Andrea Masterson, junior Kelli Reagan and senior Meredith Rizzo all played pivotal roles as well in securing the victory, with the fifth-scoring runner, Masterson, finishing less than 30 seconds after frontrunner Waligurski. Yet the Bulldogs need not rely on these athletes, as sophomore Ellie Atkinson and junior Dana Klein add even more depth to the Bulldogs. Though the two did not score for the Bulldogs, they finished less than half a minute after their teammates. With a tough race inevitably going down on Friday afternoon, the Bulldogs need to be in the best position they can to place well.
Just two weeks away from the Heptagonal Championships and three away from the Northeast Regional, all eyes will be on how the Bulldogs stack up against their formidable opponents this weekend. The women will run at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Results can be found on this link. A live stream of the meet can also be found here on FloTrack (requires paid subscription): link.
Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity