Nov. 12, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Saturday, Yale's top seven runners will travel to the Bronx, New York, to compete in the 70th Annual NCAA Northeast Regional meet hosted by Columbia. The men will be tested against more than 30 teams from throughout New York and New England. The teams will compete over a 10,000-meter course at Van Cortlandt Park when the gun goes off at 11:45 a.m. This regional meet will aid in determining which teams and individuals qualify for the NCAA National Championships later this month.
Last year, the Regional Championship was held at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.; the meet rotates each year between the courses at Franklin Park and Van Cortlandt. The Bulldogs placed eighth out of 34 teams, breaking a tie with Stony Brook based on the higher finish of their sixth man. They were led by senior Jake Gallagher, who placed 19th overall with a time of 30:26. The Iona Gaels, who placed second at the NCAA National Championships last year, won the meet with an impressive score of 37 points.
The last time the Bulldogs raced Regionals at Van Cortlandt in 2006, Gallagher was also Yale's top finisher, placing 29th with a time of 32:44 over the hilly course.
Iona looks to be this year's team favorite once again. The Gaels are ranked No. 8 nationally, and they top the Northeast regional rankings as well. Providence, last year's runner-up at this meet, is ranked second.
Yale seeks redemption after a disappointing seventh-place finish at the Heptagonal Championships two weeks ago. The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 11 in the region, but are looking to improve upon their standing and challenge the other five Northeast Ivy League teams in the process. This scenario is far from unrealistic considering that, last year, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 14 in the region after an eighth-place finish at Heps, yet they still managed a formidable eighth-place finish in the Northeast region.
The teams with the top two finishes this weekend from each of the nine regions will receive automatic bids to compete at the National Championships held in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 24. An additional 13 teams will be selected "at-large" based on their performances this season. Thirty-eight individuals, the first four athletes from each region who are not a part of a qualifying team and two additional qualifiers from around the nation, will be awarded at-large bids as well.
Results will be available post-race on the Yale Athletics website.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity