October 11, 2007

Yale Prepares for Pre-National Meet

Oct. 11, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men will face their fiercest competition to date this season when they race at the Pre-National meet this Saturday. The meet, held on the Lavern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind., brings together more than 80 teams from around the country to compete at the site of the 2007 NCAA Championships. A strong performance at this meet can increase a team's odds of earning an at-large bid to compete at the championships next month.

Due to the large number of teams, the meet will feature two varsity men's races in addition to an open race. The top seven Bulldogs will race in the second men's event of the day: the 8,000-meter White Race, which begins at 11:40 a.m. (EST). The next three runners will compete in the open race at 1:30 p.m.

The White Race features 40 teams, including nationally-ranked teams such as No. 2 Colorado, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 10 NC State, No. 14 Providence, No. 16 William & Mary, No. 19 Michigan and No. 20 Arizona State. In addition to competition from other parts of the country, Yale will face familiar competition from the NCAA Northeast Region in this race from the likes of Providence (No. 2 in the most recent Northeast Region poll), Syracuse (No. 3) and Ivy rival Cornell (No. 6). Yale was ranked No. 12 in the latest poll, but is looking for a strong performance at Pre-Nationals to boost its position.

"We're definitely looking to improve upon our performance at Pre-Nationals last year," said junior Jake Gallagher, Yale's No. 1 runner this year. The Bulldogs were second in the open race last year.

Gallagher also commented on the importance of building momentum going in to the championship season: this is the final race until the Elis face the other Ivy League teams at the Heptagonal Championships in just two weeks. Pre-Nationals will be a good test for Gallagher, who remains undefeated so far this season after winning both the Yale-Harvard meet and the University of Maine Murray Keatinge Invitational.

Meet results will be available at Indiana State's cross country website on Saturday.

report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity

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