Several Runners Making Comebacks
HANOVER, N.H. – The Bulldogs started their season on a strong note, taking second at the Dartmouth Invitational with 30 points. They were only five points away from beating Dartmouth in its home invitational, which the Big Green has won for the past five years.
Junior Sam Lynch led the Bulldogs with an impressive time of 25:35.06, placing second overall after the Big Green's Ethan Shaw. Although Lynch was not among the Bulldogs' top 10 runners in post-season last year, head coach Dan Ireland said Lynch's time was already better than the Bulldogs' No. 1 runner from last season's opening meet.
"Lynch ran tremendously," Ireland said. "The experience definitely helped the older guys, and we had some young guys step up."
At the half-mile, the Bulldogs were close to being tied with the Big Green until they hit a challenging hill in the last 800 meters of the course. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs' third, fourth and fifth runners battled neck and neck with the Big Green. Junior Julian Sheinbaum and senior captain Max Walden finished side by side as the Bulldogs' second and third runners, placing fourth (25:39.67) and fifth (25:41.57) overall, respectively. Sheinbaum, who had to recover from a calf injury that ended his freshman cross country season early, seems to be building well off his return to competition from sophomore year.
The rest of the top seven followed in a pack with junior Jake McKenzie in ninth (26:04.11), sophomore Sam Kirtner in 10th (26:11.95), junior Nathan Richards in 11th (26:12.62) and sophomore Kevin Lunn in 12th (26:15.22). Kirtner and Lunn are also runners who are making comebacks after sitting out for most of last season because of injury or illness.
"For us to come within five points of beating Dartmouth, it was a really great opening for us," Ireland said.
The Bulldogs will compete at the Quinnipiac Invitational in Hamden, Conn., on Sept. 18. The runners who competed at Dartmouth will take a break next weekend while the rest of the roster will have their first race of the season at Quinnipiac.
Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity