Yale Finishes 35th in Loaded Pre-National Field
Oct. 13, 2007
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Yale joined many of the top teams in the nation this weekend at the Pre-National meet hosted by Indiana State at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course, the site of the 2007 NCAA Championships next month. Yale raced in the White Race, the second of two equally-seeded varsity men's races, and placed 35th with 913 points. No. 21 UTEP won the White Race team title in a huge upset over No. 2 Colorado, scoring 129 points to Colorado's 155. Junior Jake Gallagher, coming off two individual wins this season, was the top Yale finisher in the race.
Gallagher crossed the line first for the Elis in 120th place with a time of 24:42, followed closely by junior Jared Bell (133rd in 24:52). Rounding out the scoring top five in a close pack were senior Joe Kingsbery (215th in 25:39), junior John Hinkle (222nd in 25:43) and senior captain Tadhg O'Callaghan (223rd in 25:43). The individual winner of the White Race was Liberty's Josh McDougal, who covered the 8,000-meter course in an impressive time of 22:56.
Coach Daniel Ireland admitted that the Bulldogs didn't finish quite as high as they would have liked. However, some individuals still managed to perform up to par at a time when many athletes feel slightly worn down from the intense mid-season training. "I thought that Jared [Bell] ran a pretty good, solid race," Ireland noted.
In the Open Race later in the day, non-varsity runners from many teams had a chance to gain experience racing the course. Three men competed for Yale, led by sophomore Chris Labosky, who placed 59th in a time of 25:43. Fellow sophomore Maxwell Brown was next (79th in 26:03), followed by freshman Johnny Van Deventer (105th in 26:32).
With Pre-Nationals being the final regular-season meet of the year, the Bulldogs have plenty of challenges to face in the following weeks. The next test for the Elis will be in two weeks when the top 12 runners travel down to the Bronx to compete at the Heptagonal Championships, held on the traditional course at Van Cortlandt Park. Last year, the Bulldogs came back from a disappointing performance at Pre-Nationals to place fourth in a very competitive Heps. Ireland expects a similar improvement this year: "This performance [at Pre-Nationals] doesn't change our goals for Heps," he said. The Bulldogs still aim to finish the season strong as a top-four Ivy team.
report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity