Star Sophomore's Breakthrough Season to Continue in Serbia
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Yale men's cross country team sophomore Kevin Dooney learned early this week that he had been selected to run on Ireland's Under-23 squad at the 20th SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec. 8. Dooney—a native of Dublin, Ireland—will run the 8K race at Belgrade's Park of Friendship alongside some of the best young athletes Europe has to offer. He will be serving as a representative of Raheny Shamrock AC, an Irish athletics club devoted to competitive running.
Dooney previously represented Ireland, and placed 24th, in the 10K race at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona the summer before his freshman year at Yale. Now, with his selection to the U-23 Irish squad at the European Championships, he will get another chance to compete on the international stage.
Joining Dooney on the U-23 team—which consists of six athletes and two reserves—are two fellow runners from the United States who compete with Yale in the Division I NCAA Northeast Region: Iona's Jake Byrne and Providence's Shane Quinn.
For Dooney, his selection to the U-23 Irish team is only his latest achievement during his remarkable sophomore cross country season. After struggling with some lingering injury issues during preseason training and through the season's first couple races, Dooney exploded onto the scene, placing first on the team at four consecutive meets, breaking his 8K personal record three separate times, earning both All-Region and second team All-Ivy honors, and qualifying for the Division I NCAA Championships. Dooney was just the sixth Yale runner to qualify for Nationals since 1991, and he made the most of the opportunity by running a 31:18.5—the fastest time by a Yale runner at Nationals since 2003.
All European Championship races will take place on Dec. 8. The U-23 men's race is slated to begin at 12:19 p.m. Serbian time (6:19 p.m. EST). The meet's official website can be accessed here, and a map of the course at Friendship Park is available here. The full Irish roster for the meet, meanwhile, is available here. Results will be available on www.yalebulldogs.com following the conclusion of the race.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity