Bulldogs Take Third at Lock Haven Meet
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Inclement weather cancelled the Penn State National meet on Friday, but that did not stop the Bulldogs’ competitive edge. With several other schools registered for the Penn State meet, the Bulldogs ran in a newly organized race at nearby Lock Haven University. Despite the cold weather and the wet course, they placed third as a team with 77 points, only seven points behind second-place finisher Cortland State.
According to head coach Dan Ireland, Penn State cancelled the original meet because officials feared that tree branches weighed down by snow on the course might fall on the runners. It was to be held at the Blue-White Golf Course in State College, Pa. but was moved to the West Branch Cross Country Course in Lock Haven. The 8K men’s race began at 2:45 p.m. instead of the 10:00 a.m. start time for the Penn State National. Of course, the sudden change of plans presented a mental challenge to the runners.
“It was a mixed bag today,” Ireland said. “Overall, people handed it very well.”
Several runners even encountered individual challenges. Sophomore Conor Dooney was running with the lead pack, but fell halfway through the course becaus e of the mud. He was able to continue the race to finish third for the team in 14th place (25:47).
“It kind of took a lot to get up, but he still had a really good run,” Ireland said.
The Bulldogs also had many other notable performances in the adverse situation. Junior Jeff Perrella ran with the top pack during the race and moved up to finish third overall with a time of 25:11, only 5 seconds shy of Cornell’s top runner, Nate Edelman. Junior Matt Bogdan finished next in 11th place (25:40), follwed by Dooney, sophomore Julian Sheinbaum in 18th (25:49), junior Max Walden in 32nd (26:13) and sophomore Nathan Richards in 33rd (26:14). Senior captain Chris Labosky, competing in his first meet of the season, rounded out the top seven and placed 41st (26:22).
“The people we needed to have good races did – Bogdan, Sheinbaum, … (Bogdan) was the surprise of the race,” Ireland said. “It was also a great first race for cap tain Labosky.”
The Big Red took first with 48 points. It is currently ranked seventh in the Northeast Region by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Bulldogs will get another chance at the Big Red and other Ivy League teams at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 30 in the Bronx, N.Y.
In their last regular meet of the season, the Bulldogs certainly showed their strength in unfavorable conditions. They seem ready both physically and mentally for the post-season.
Report by Miriam Cho ’13, Yale Sports Publicity