PRINCETON, N.J. -- The 2011 cross country season got underway last weekend and the Ivies posted strong showings at several events across the Northeast highlighted by season-opening sweeps from Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton.
For the second consecutive year, the Columbia men's and women's cross country teams swept tri-meets against Saint Michael's and host Vermont at the Catamount Family Center in Burlington, Vt. The men's team featured 15 of the top 16 finishers in the 8K race to finish with a perfect team score of 15. Columbia first-year Ben Eversole started his collegiate career in style, winning the men's individual title with a time of 25:16.6. In the women's 5K, Columbia posted a team score of 25 to edge Vermont by five points.
Dartmouth earned a men's and women's sweep as the Big Green squads took top honors at season-opening home invitationals, which were run at the Hanover Country Club in Hanover, N.H. The men's team earned a perfect score and was led by senior Ethan Shaw, who won the event for the second year in a row with time of 21:59. The women's team had four of the top five finishers and was led by sophomore Abbey D'Agostino, who won in a time of 16:49.
Cornell and Princeton also turned in men's and women's sweeps over the weekend, with Cornell downing Army and Binghamton and both Tiger squads capturing top honors at the Fordham Invitational.
Cornell's tri-meet wins came at home on the Moakley Course, with the women scoring a perfect 15 points. Junior Katie Kellner won her first career college cross country race (17:56.8) on the 5000 meter course to lead the Big Red women's team, while sophomore Max Groves captured top honors in the five-mile men's race, crossing the line in 26:23.8.
Princeton captured the men's and women's races at the Fordham Invitational. Senior Donn Cabral led the men's team to victory by taking the top spot (25:30.37) on a course just shy of five miles at Van Cortlandt Park. The Tiger men bested second-place Navy by 15 points. Yale and Penn finished third and fourth, respectively. On the women's side, the Tigers placed four runners in the top-10 en route to the win on the five-kilometer course. Led by a first-place finish from sophomore Melissa Chapman, who won in 18:03.63, the Yale women placed second.
Complete USTFCCCA Polls
There was also movement by the Ivies in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) polls as the first in-season rankings were released on Sept. 13. In the men's poll, Princeton fell one spot to 12th, Dartmouth moved up one spot to 29th and Columbia earned a vote. In the women's poll, the Tigers jumped up three places to 19th, while Dartmouth (27) and Columbia (16) were the two teams in the others receiving votes category. The next set of polls will be released on Sept. 20.
Men & Women: Cross Counrty blazes past Vermont, Saint Michael's to open 2011 season
Men & Women: Freshmen do heavy lifting as cross country opens season at Bryant Invitational