Numerous Personal Bests, Strong Races by Freshmen at First Meet of 2016
NEW YORK—The men's cross country team opened the 2016 season with a first-place finish at the Fordham Fiasco on Saturday. The team, led by junior Hale Ross, placed all five scorers in the top 10 and totalled just 27 points. The Elis' group of runners included four freshmen competing in their first collegiate race, as well as nine upperclassmen, many of whom set personal bests.
Ross completed the five-mile course in 25:02.61, placing second overall in his highest-place finish at any collegiate cross country race thus far. Averaging just about five minutes per mile, his time also marked a significant personal best of more than 30 seconds. Senior Andre Ivankovic was the next runner for the Elis, placing third overall. He was just barely edged out of second place by Ross in an extremely close finish, earning a time of 25:02.84.
Junior Adam Houston and senior Spike Sievert finished next for the Elis, in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Like Ross and Ivankovic, these two athletes finished close together, with Houston finishing in 25:21.97 and Sievert in 25:23.42, marking a slight personal best for Sievert. These finishes demonstrate the strength and experience of the upperclassmen on the team, which will be extremely useful in the Elis' efforts to improve on their historically strong 2015 season.
Placing fifth for the Bulldogs and ninth overall, Armstrong Noonan ran the quickest time of the day among the Yale freshmen. He finished in 25:38.24 and scored for the team in his first collegiate race. Fellow freshman Allen Siegler and junior Matt Chisholm ran close behind Noonan, completing the course in 25:42.44 and 25:43.08, respectively. Siegler placed 11th overall, while Chisholm earned 12th. For Chisholm, this time is a very large personal best of about a minute, continuing a strong improvement trend by the junior athlete that started with personal bests in middle distance events during the track season.
Juniors Ryan Brady, Scott Meehan and Michael Yuan comprised the eighth through 10th runners for the Elis. Brady ran 26:20.29 for 17th place, while Meehan ran a 40-second personal best for 20th place (26:36.92) in the second eight-kilometer/five-mile race of his career. Yuan also marked a personal best of more than 20 seconds, placing 21st (26:38.46).
Freshmen Austin Stoner and James Lewis were the final two freshmen to compete for the Bulldogs on Saturday. Stoner placed 23rd (26:45.83), while Lewis took 26th (27:08.19). Senior Tim Cox placed 35th (27:56.22) in the first race of his senior season.
The strong team performance is especially notable considering that Elis did not race all of the team's strongest athletes, most notably senior James Randon. This race shows the depth of the athletes on the team, with multiple upperclassmen demonstrating impressive personal bests and freshmen gaining a strong start to their first season.
Fordham placed second in the meet with 45 points, followed by Manhattan with 62; full results can be found here. The team races next at the Harvard/Princeton/Yale Tri-Meet on Sep. 17.
Report by Joseph Battles '18, Yale Sports Publicity