October 1, 2008

Bulldogs to Compete at Murray Keatinge Invitational

Oct. 1, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This weekend, the Bulldogs will travel north to take on competition from throughout the Northeast at the Murray Keatinge Invitational. The race, which will be contested on Saturday at 10:45 a.m., is hosted by the University of Maine. Other teams competing include Boston College, Central Connecticut State, Holy Cross, New Hampshire and the University of New Brunswick. After facing a disappointing loss to Harvard last weekend, the Bulldogs look to reassert their dominance in the region.

Last year marked the first time the Elis competed at this invitational; the squad took third overall behind Dartmouth and New Hampshire, led by senior Jake Gallagher's first-place finish in a time of 24:57. In the USTFCCA Northeast region poll released on Monday, Dartmouth is ranked No. 4, Yale is No. 7 and New Hampshire is No. 12, so it looks as though these three teams will once again vie for the title.

In addition to Gallagher, who has not yet competed this season, the Bulldogs have the strength of seniors John Hinkle and Murat Kayali, who have been Yale's top two finishers so far this year. Other, less experienced members of the squad may need to step up for the team, however, because head coach Dan Ireland noted that the Bulldogs will not be racing at "full strength" at this point in the season. Instead, they will be focusing their energy on preparing for the Heptagonal Championships.

"We want the men to have their best races at the end of the season," Ireland explained.

Despite a more conservative attitude towards this weekend's meet, a strong performance could still bolster the Bulldogs going into the more difficult portion of the season later in October. The 8,000-meter course on Maine's campus in Orono could yield noticeably faster times than the soggy Yale Golf Course on which the Bulldogs raced last Saturday, which may serve as an added boost of confidence for the team.

Results from the meet will be posted on the Maine athletics website and on the Yale Athletics website at the conclusion of the meet.

Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity