September 29, 2012

Bulldogs Best Ivy Rivals, Take 7th at Paul Short Invitational

Tight Grouping Pays Dividends

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Seven Bulldogs finished within a minute of each other to combine for a seventh-place result on Friday at the Paul Short Invitational with 255 total points. As a unit, it was Yale's best performance of the season, as they competed against 36 highly competitive teams, including all but one member of the Ivy League. The Elis avenged their loss to Harvard in a dual meet two weeks ago by topping the Crimson (13th – 421 points) this time, along with sides from Columbia (8th – 405 points), Brown (14th – 454 points) and Princeton (37th – 1044 points).

Three meets into their season, a solid core of runners has emerged for the Bulldogs that includes several underclassmen. Rather than a reliance on a few outstanding individuals, the team finds its strength is its pack running.

Six of Yale's front seven set personal records on Friday, beginning with sophomore sensation Matthew Nussbaum, who led the way again this time with a 21st-place finish (24:34). Senior Demetri Goutos followed up with a personal record of his own (30th – 24:40) and senior captain Kevin Lunn was next (61st – 25:04). Freshman Kevin Dooney continued what has been a remarkable start to his Yale cross country career by setting another PR (67th – 25:10), as did senior track-convert Timothy Hillas (76th – 25:18).

Sophomore John McGowan (80th – 25:20) and freshman Alex Conner (93rd – 25:27) occupied the sixth and seventh spots for the Bulldogs for the second meet in a row, both bettering their PRs in the process.

Last year, the Elis were 19th out of 45 teams at this same meet, so this year's outcome shows real progress. A key reason for that is the contribution of newcomers to the team – Conner, Dooney and Hillas are all recent additions – and the rise of Nussbaum.

The Bulldogs will compete at the New England Championships next Saturday, and have a meet per week for the next three weeks after that, including Heps on Oct. 27.

Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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