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Outlook: Bulldog Harriers Optimistic for 2007

Outlook: Bulldog Harriers Optimistic for 2007

July 24, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This fall will be the Bulldogs' eighth season under the command of Dan Ireland and should see the return of the Yale harriers to among the top three teams in the Ivy League. The 2006 season saw the Elis finish fourth at Heps and should serve as tremendous motivation for this year's squad, which features more talent and depth than Ireland has ever had in his tenure at Yale.

When Ireland arrived at Yale he established goals of taking the Bulldogs to the top of the Ivy League and solidifying the team as a perennial cross country favorite and potential NCAA qualifier year-in and year-out. This season should continue to show that the Bulldog program has reached that level. The 2007 squad will have a mix of veteran harriers and talented youth that possess the drive and dedication necessary to compete with not only the best in the Ivy League but the best in the Northeast.

The senior class will be heart of this year's squad and should have a huge impact on the Bulldogs' season. Senior captain Tadhg O'Callaghan will be counted upon to be a great leader both on the cross course and off and is aiming to end his cross career at Yale with an Ivy team title. After having his best cross country and track season this past year, when he was a regional qualifier in the steeple chase, Joe Kingsbery is aiming to garner All-Ivy honors this fall. Classmate Eric Kerchberger will contribute tremendously to the team's depth and quality.

Contribution from the junior class will be essential if the team is to attain its goals. Jake Gallagher was a 10th-place finisher in the Ivy Championships in cross country and ran sub-25:00 at Van Cortlandt Park last fall. He is aiming to improve significantly on both of those marks in 2007 while also looking to secure a trip to the NCAA Championships as an individual qualifier. Murat Kayali hopes to improve upon his 15th-place finish in the conference with a top-10 showing and is also looking to run sub-25:00 at Van Cortlandt Park. Returning to the squad after not competing his sophomore year, Jared Bell is aiming for All-Ivy status after running 3:50.13 on the track last spring. John Hinkle had a tremendous summer of training and has the necessary talent to make a huge contribution.

Andrew Samuel will also be relied on to help the team live up to its potential.

The sophomore class is arguably the most talented ever to enter Yale and figures to have a necessary and immediate impact on the squad. Maxwell Brown was a consistent top-seven runner during his freshman cross campaign and will be aiming for All-Ivy honors. Kevin Brown and Chris Labosky are looking to play very significant roles and should compete for a spot in the top seven. Bryce Scanlan possesses untapped potential on the cross country course and will be looked upon to provide the dedication and depth that is required to ensure that the success of Yale cross country continues for the next several years.

The freshman class consists of seven athletes whose strengths all reside on the cross country course. This class will be looked upon to lay a solid foundation for the Bulldogs to build on for the next four years and beyond. Johnny Van Deventer (Surrey, England) should be the leader of this group, having finished 2nd in the English high school national cross country championships. Max Walden (Guilford, Conn.) was one of the top harriers in the NEPSTA league and the New England region and should compete for a spot among the Bulldogs' top ten this fall. Matthew Bogdan (Latham, N.Y.) and Peter Vizcarrondo (New York, N.Y.) all had great success in New York state high school cross country and on the track as well. Chris Scavone (Belle Mead, N.Y.), James Wyper (Darien, Conn.) and David Demres (Rochester Hill, Mich.) all possess the potential to be strong contributors to the squad as freshmen.

With the leadership and focus of the upperclassmen combined with the great talent of the younger harriers, the 2007 Yale cross country season has the potential to be one of the best in recent history for the Bulldog program. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the prospects for this upcoming season. With the continued dedication and commitment that have become synonymous with the Yale men's cross country team, this fall's lofty goals should be more than attainable.