NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team met in the varsity room of Ray Tompkins House earlier this month for their annual banquet and to pick both the winner of the Cleary Award and next year's captain. Junior Andrea Masterson swept both categories, not only winning the award for an outstanding season but also being elected by her peers to lead the cross country team in 2018.
Each year, the Mike Stanley-John Cleary Award is given to "the most outstanding member of the Yale women's cross country team who excels in Dedication, Commitment, and Inspiration to the sport of cross country."
There is no one on the cross country team who better exemplifies this than Masterson. Among the highlights of her season: reigning champion at Harvard-Yale-Princeton, best finish for a Bulldog at Heps since 2006, All-Region honoree at Regionals, and one of a select few individual qualifiers to make Nationals.
Additionally, she was selected as next year's captain, which is not surprising given her leadership on the course this season.
"This season was a real breakthrough for me, and what with qualifying for nationals and being elected captain, I couldn't have asked for a better ending to it," stated Masterson concerning her achievement. "It's a true honor being elected captain and I'm looking forward to leading the team next year. I am so thankful for the amount of encouragement and support I've been given this year, and I'm hoping to foster a team environment that ensures that everyone feels the same. Next year I think that there will be great opportunities for underclassmen to step up and make a big impact on the team, and for the upperclassmen to keep leading by example. I think that we will be force to be reckoned with!
Masterson led her team at every meet, with two promising first years following right in her footsteps. She will likely dominate just as much next year and is the easy choice for both honors. She has developed greatly over the course of the past two years, culminating in this season's success.
"Andrea is a tremendous leader for our program," says women's cross country Amy Gosztyla of the future captain, "She is a hard worker and an incredibly tough competitor. She is the type of teammate who brings people along with her, and her leadership this season absolutely contributed to our team's success. I'm excited to see Andrea be acknowledged by her peers and I'm confident she will be a fantastic captain for our program."
As she enters this upcoming track and field season, she will look to build on the same momentum.
Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity