NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The Yale women's cross country team has announced its schedule for the upcoming season.
The Bulldogs are slated to go head-to-head with numerous regional rivals throughout the season and will be racing against high-caliber regional and national competition in a number of different meets. The team will be led by head women's cross country coach Amy Gosztyla for the eighth straight season. Under her leadership, the program has experienced significant improvement, consistently finishing in the top half of the Ivy League and recording multiple runner-up finishes at the Ivy League conference meet. Notably, she coached the team to a NCAA Championship qualification in 2016, which was the first for the program since 2001.
In 2017, Yale recorded strong team finishes of third place in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship and fifth place at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship and will look to improve on these finishes in the coming season. With a strong contingent of returners from the varsity squad last cross country season, this is likely possible. The Bulldogs will be led by senior captain-elect Andrea Masterson, who crossed the line as the top Yale athlete at every competition last fall. Individually, Masterson also finished runner-up the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship last year, by less than half a second, and qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Kayley DeLay and Sevanne Ghazarian, who both earned All-Ivy honors as first years, will also return and will likely play a key role in the varsity squad for the upcoming season.
Below is a breakdown of the 2018 Yale women's cross country campaign:
- Yale is slated to compete against conference rivals as well as inter-conference and inter-region rivals before racing in the championship season.
- There are a number of changes from the 2017 season: one race has been added to the beginning of the season (Fordham Fiasco) and the Paul Short Invitational will take the place of the University of Virginia Panorama Farm Invitational.
- The Bulldogs will open up their season with a 5k at the Fordham Fiasco on Sept. 8 at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx before going directly head-to-head against Ivy League competition.
- Next up for the Bulldogs is the historic Harvard-Yale-Princeton triagonal meet, held on Harvard's home course of Franklin Park in Boston on Sept. 15. The Bulldogs finished second to Princeton in this meet last year but finished ahead of both Princeton and Harvard at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship at the end of the season. Like last year, the race distance will be a 4k.
- The Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University, on Sept. 29 offers the Bulldogs a chance to compete against teams across regions and against many teams with national rankings in the first 6k on the schedule. In 2016, the Bulldogs won the meet in an impressive fashion, with a spread of just 28 seconds between the first Yale runner and the fifth Yale runner. Last year, Utah State, Villanova, and Georgia claimed the top three team scores and then went on to finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships.
- The team will then drop down in distance back to a 5k, returning to Franklin Park on Oct. 6 for a second time in the season, to compete in the New England Championships. Athletes who are not slated to compete in Adidas Pre-Nationals Invitational the following weekend will represent the Bulldogs in this event.
- The team will then take on a high caliber of national competition in the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Madison, Wis., at the Thomas Zimmer Golf Course on Oct. 13. Traditionally, this meet has featured teams that go on to finish in the top spots at the NCAA Championship meet and has served as a preview for the championships. It will offer the varsity runners an opportunity to experience a similar level of competition to the regional and national meet.
- As a tune-up before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the team will travel north to compete in the shortest race of the season, a 3k, at the Central Connecticut State University Mini Meet held at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain on Oct. 19.
- The championship season will kick off with the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship on Oct. 27, hosted by Princeton at West Windsor Fields. Up to 12 Yale athletes will race, with the top five scoring. Last season, Columbia won the meet with 66 points, Dartmouth was runner-up with 73 points, and Yale third with 89 points.
- Yale will then compete against the entire Northeast region at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on Nov. 7 in hopes of earning a spot at the NCAA Championship meet. The regional competition will be held in Buffalo, N.Y., as it was last year and to advance the Bulldogs need to finish in the top two spots or hope for an at-large bid. Last season, Yale finished fifth.
- If the team or any individual athletes finish in a qualifying spot, the next competition will be the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17, which is the final meet of the season. Teams who have finished in the top two spots in their region or have been chosen for an at-large bid (based on their performances over the course of the season), as well as the top four individuals, will race at this competition. The race will be held at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky., a familiar venue for Masterson, who qualified and raced at the same location last season.
- Live results and video, when applicable, will be available via links on yalebulldogs.com.
- This schedule is subject to change. Check yalebulldogs.com for updates.
Report by Gabrielle Rinne '19, Yale Sports Publicity