Loss of Top Runner Does Not Deter Bulldogs
BOSTON - Even without their top runner, the Bulldogs gave a strong showing at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on Saturday, finishing ninth out of 36 teams. Head coach Dan Ireland said he was very pleased with the Bulldogs' performance at their last meet of the season.
"All year long we weren't ranked in the top 10 in our region," Ireland said. "I was really happy for the young guys that ran really well."
The men's 10K race took place at Franklin Park under pouring rain and very muddy conditions. Sophomore Conor Dooney, the Bulldogs' frontrunner, had to drop out of the race because the slippery surface was irritating his hip flexor. Nevertheless, the rest of the Bulldogs ran well enough to net a top 10 finish. Going into the meet, they were only ranked 13th in the region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. They also defeated Harvard, who had beaten them at Heptagonals two weeks earlier.
Junior Jeff Perrella placed 28th with a time of 32:08, just shy of making the All-Region team. Sophomore Jake McKenzie and junior Matt Bogdan finished neck-and-neck in 59th and 60th respectively, both in 33:09. Junior Max Walden came in next in 73rd place (33:17), sophomore Julian Sheinbaum in 91st place (33:43) and sophomore Nathan Richards in 116th place (34:12).
Syracuse captured the team title with 55 points. Ryan Sheridan won the individual title in 30:36, helping Iona to a second place finish.
Although the Bulldogs' season has come to an end, the performance at the regional meet certainly gives a positive outlook for next season, since most of the Bulldogs were competing in their first regional championship. With the experience of another season under their belts, the young team looks ready to take on higher expectations f or next year.
"We have a good group of young guys," Ireland said. "I'm very excited about next year."
Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity