Team Still Delivers Strong Finish on Off Day
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Bulldogs placed eighth in a competitive field of 27 teams at Penn State National on Saturday. Although their original goal was to place in the top five, their top 10 finish still puts them in a good position going into Heptagonals Championships in two weeks.
Head coach Dan Ireland said the race results have not affected the Bulldogs' mindset as they transition into post-season.
"For them to have an off day and for us to still finish eighth is a positive thing," Ireland said.
Senior Jeff Perrella had one of his strongest races of the season, coming in first for the Bulldogs and eighth overall out of a field of more than 300 runners in 25:37. Junior Julian Sheinbaum was the Bulldogs' second runner in 47th place with a time of 26:17. Senior captain Max Walden and sophomore Demetri Goutos finished neck-and-neck in 58th place and 59th place, respectively, both in 26:33. The rest of the Bulldogs' top seven were junior Conor Dooney in 70th place (26:40), sophomore Sam Kirtner in 93rd place (26:55) and sophomore Kevin Lunn in 100th place (26:57).
Although Saturday was not their best performance, the Bulldogs still beat fellow Ivy League school Penn by 16 points and could have finished closer to Cornell's fifth place on a better day. For many of the Bulldogs, it was also their first time running in a large-scale meet.
"It was our first big race of the year," Ireland said. "I think the way (Perrella) ran is indicative of what all the guys can do."
The Bulldogs scored a total of 239 points. Syracuse, ranked 14th in the nation, won the team title with 61 points.
The Bulldogs will take the next two weeks to train for Heptagonals, their most anticipated meet of the year. They will compete against all seven other Ivy League schools on Oct. 29 at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity