Bulldogs Strive for Mental Toughness
Penn State National Offers Last Regular Season Meet
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs will compete at their last regular season meet this Friday at the Penn State National in State College, Pa. They hope that the race will serve as a mental boost going into the post-season.
In particular, head coach Dan Ireland wants the Bulldogs to prove their mental fitness.
“Right now, we’re very physically fit,” Ireland said. “The thing we’re looking to do is compete.”
The Bulldogs look to improve from last year’s 10th-place finish. Georgetown, the defending champion who is currently ranked 10th in the nation by the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA), enters as the early favorite. Yet after Georgetown and Penn State, another men’s cross-country powerhouse, the next few places seem up for grabs.
“We’re looking for a top-five finish,” Ireland said. “If we can do that, we have a springboard into conference.”
Sophomore Conor Dooney has a very good chance of continuing his streak as the front-runner for the Bulldogs. Senior Jeff Perrella and junior Max Walden should run solid as well. Freshman standout Demetri Goutos, who was the third scorer for the Bulldogs at last week’s dual meet with Harvard, looks especially strong going into the meet.
The Bulldogs will also get a chance to run against Cornell and Penn before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in post-season. They have already beaten the Quakers at the Iona Meet of Champions and are looking for a victory against the Big Red this weekend as well. The Big Red is currently ranked seventh by the USTFCCA for the Northeast Region while the Bulldogs are ranked 10th.
“Anytime you’re up against an Ivy League team, you certainly want to beat them,” Ireland said.
The men’s race begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Blue-White Golf Course. Results will be posted on Yalebulldogs.com after the meet.
Report by Miriam Cho ’13, Yale Sports Publicity