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Masterson Finishes Runner-Up to Help Bulldogs Take Third at Heptagonal Championships

Andrea Masterson. (photo by Jon Nuechterlein)
Andrea Masterson. (photo by Jon Nuechterlein)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's cross country team took third at this evening's Ivy League Heptagonal Championship behind a strong runner-up performance by junior Andrea Masterson. This annual championship meet pits the Ancient Eight against each other in a winner-take-all scenario. Each team is limited to just 12 athletes to toe the line, with the top five scoring. Columbia won Heps with 66 points, just outpacing runner-up Dartmouth, who earned 73 points. The Bulldogs earned 89 points to take third. 

While the team was not able to take this year's crown, this is the third year that they have been able to finish in the top-three. Masterson led the charge with a powerful performance. Down the final kilometer, Masterson made up a 3 second gap between her and the eventual champion from Princeton. Masterson came up just a half second behind her for the crown, crossing the line in 21:02.9. Even more impressively, the top-two finished an impressive eight seconds ahead of the rest of the lead pack. 

First years Kayley DeLay and Sevanne Ghazarian also both had impressive performances, each earning All-Ivy honors in their first Heptagonal Championships. Ghazarian was the top freshman finisher at this meet, taking sixth, and first-team All-Ivy honors with a final time of 21:17.6. DeLay took 12th to earn second-team All-Ivy honors with a time of 21:31.5. 

Meanwhile, departing seniors Katherine Raphael and Dana Klein finished alongside each other, placing 34th and 35th, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs. The two competed in their final Heptagonal Championships, rounding out spectacular careers on the women's cross country team. 

Yet despite the loss the Bulldogs will take when the departing senior class leaves, the Bulldogs will have a strong core of runners going into 2018. In fact, Yale had the best top-3 finisher combo of the competition, with DeLay, Ghazarian and Masterson racking up just 20 points, while Columbia's top three scored 33 points. So indeed the future is very bright for the Bulldogs, with all three All-Ivy honorees presumably returning for 2018. 

Rounding out for the top-seven performers for the team were Melissa Fairchild and Ellie Atkinson, both finishing 57th and 58th, respectively. 

While the team was not able to capture the Ivy League title, this title does not determine who qualifies for Nationals. In fact, that is decided at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships in two short weeks in Buffalo, N.Y. The Bulldogs will have one last chance to take one of the two automatic qualifying spots from the region. It was at this meet where the team won an at-large bid when they took third. More information will be released about that meet as the date approaches. 

Full results can be found at the link above 

Recap by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity