NEW HAVEN, Conn.-- At the Yale cross country annual banquet held earlier this week, senior captain Andrea Masterson earned the Mike Stanley-John Cleary Award for the second straight year.
Following the conclusion of the cross country season each year, the coaching staff honors the member of the female cross country team that has made the most outstanding contribution. The award is given to the athlete who "excels in dedication, commitment, and inspiration to the sport of cross country."
During the 2018 cross country campaign, Masterson built confidence from the previous season, consistently improving on last year's performances and setting new lifetime bests.
From the start of the season, Masterson established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the course, winning her second straight Harvard-Yale-Princeton title by a wide margin. From that point forward, she consistently led the team both on and off the course.
Women's cross country head coach Amy Gosztyla believes both Masterson's athletic ability and personal characteristics contribute to her success.
"The accolades speak for themselves, but what really stands out about Andrea is her maturity and patience with her approach to training and racing. She has pushed hard often, and listened to her body when needed to back off in training."
Masterson's successes at the end of the season, in particular, were a fitting way to cap off her career as a Yale cross country athlete. By the end of the season, she had earned herself the honor of Ivy League Individual Champion and a third-straight NCAA Cross Country Championship qualification.
Each season Masterson has improved substantially from the previous season's performances, culminating in the past year's historic season. Gosztyla noticed the ways she grew from season to season.
"Most impressively, she has applied lessons learned from one season to the next for her entire four-year career at Yale, which led to some of the most impressive races ever run by a Yale woman," Gosztyla explained.
She joins an exclusive group of Yale women who have earned themselves the honor of Ivy League Champion. Only five other women have won the title in Yale history.
Along with the accolades and memories from a phenomenal season comes the conclusion of Masterson's Yale cross country career. The close of an impressive season has brought bittersweet feelings for Masterson.
"I am proud of what I was able to accomplish as a member of Yale women's cross country, and receiving the award was the cherry on top of a memorable season. Cross country has a special place in my heart, and I will miss wearing the Y jersey alongside my teammates next year."
Although the cross country season is over, Masterson has both the indoor and outdoor track to look forward to. She will likely be a key athlete for the team success and is looking forward to another opportunity to contribute to the Bulldogs.
"I am excited for what the rest of the year has in store, and I think that the team is ready to take some big steps forward this track season."
Report by Gabrielle Rinne '19, Yale Sports Publicity