By Dave Hunter ’72
The Princeton men’s and women’s cross country teams took on the nation’s top collegiate squads in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 23. Several days of steady rain, a hard freeze on race day eve, and an ever-present bitter northern wind transformed the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course into a shoe-sucking sea of pudding-like mud — the kind of tough conditions that make old-school cross country purists smile.
The Princeton men — runners-up in last week’s NCAA Mid–Atlantic Regional meet — rang up 469 points on the 10,000 meter course to finish 22nd in the 31 team field. Seniors Tyler Udland (47th in 30:53.55) and Alejandro Arroyo Yamin (73rd in 31:03.5) were the top Tiger performers. Juniors Sam Pons (113th in 31:24.6), Matt McDonald (135th in 31:37.5) and Connor Martin (208th in 32:26.1) rounded out the scoring for Princeton.
In the women’s race, freshman Megan Curham concluded a sparkling fall season, covering the 6,000 meter course in 20:42.3. Curham’s 34th place finish earned her All-American recognition — one of only three freshmen nationwide to capture that honor. The women’s team — which gained a coveted at-large invitation to Terre Haute at last week’s regional meet — had a tough afternoon scoring 703 points to finish 30th in the 31 team field. Scoring behind Curham were sophomore Kathryn Fluehr (186th in 21.56.0), junior Emily De La Bruyere (209th in 22:09.8), freshman Elizabeth Bird (214th in 22:13.6) and sophomore Kathryn Little (222nd in 22:18.3). The Tigers — with 6 of the top 7 returning next year — should benefit greatly from Saturday’s national championship experience.
Princeton and Dartmouth were the only Ivy League schools to qualify full men’s and women’s teams for Saturday’s NCAA national championship races.