September 19, 2009

Bulldogs Finish Fourth at Iona Meet of Champions

Team Also Finishes Fourth at Quinnipiac

Complete Meet of Champions Results

Complete Quinnipiac Invitational Results

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men’s cross country team performed very well at their first meets of the season on Saturday. The crisp fall day was the perfect backdrop for running at the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City, where the Elis finished fourth, and for running at the Quinnipiac Invitational in Hamden, Conn.

Most of the top performers on the men’s team traveled to the Bronx in New York to compete at the Meet of Champions 8k. The team finished fourth out of 23 teams with 144 points. The Elis finished well ahead of Ivy League rivals Penn (seventh place, 206 points) and Harvard (14th place, 419 points).

The team champion for the day was Kent State University, which ended the meet with 59 points, while the individual champion of the meet was Kent Finan of the University of Cincinnati (25:21.06).

Sophomore Conor Dooney led the Yale pack, blazing into 11th place in a time of 25:49.29 (his finish was really tantamount to ninth place, though, due to unaffiliated runners ahead of him). This was Dooney’s first big meet of his Yale career; last year he competed only twice at the beginning of the season before being sidelined be injury. It is a good sign for the Elis that they have such a strong young runner among them.

As head coach Dan Ireland said of Dooney: “It was a great time for him. He really showed what he can do, staying at the front of the pack and finishing strong.”

Yale’s other top-five finishers hung closer together: junior Max Walden came in 30th (26:17.12), senior Jeff Perella 33rd (26:20.34), sophomore Julian Sheinbaum 36th (26:23.47) and freshman Demetri Goutos 45th (26:34.48).

More experienced runners rounded out the top seven: junior Matt Bogdan was 47th (26:39.25) and senior Kevin Brown 50th (26:43.39). All of the finishers contributing to Yale’s score, either directly (in the cast of the top 5) or indirectly (6th and 7th for the Bulldogs, Bogdan and Brown) were in the top 50 out of over 200 runners.

The Van Cortlandt 8k course was reconfigured from its time-old paths due to construction, so Saturday’s times can’t compare to those of previous years.

“Overall, we did well,” said Ireland. “For our first race of the season, especially for our first race at Van Cortlandt, it was good. We’re really excited to get the season going from here.”

Yale raced only six men at the Quinnipiac Invitational, and finished fourth out of 11 teams there with 121 points. Sophomore Jake McKenzie was the first finisher for the Elis, coming in 10th place in 26:37.8 on the 8k course. He was followed by sophomore Sam Lynch, who is new to the team (18th, 27:02.3).

The Elis will be training for the next two weeks for their annual dual meet against Harvard, which will be held Oct. 2 in Boston.

Report by Kyle Eichner ’12, Yale Sports Publicity