Bulldogs Overcome Injury at New England Championships

Sam Kirtner (photo by Dan Grossman, MapleLeafPhotos.com)
Sam Kirtner (photo by Dan Grossman, MapleLeafPhotos.com)

Young Team Places 16th at One of Largest Collegiate Meets in Country

BOSTON – The Bulldogs brought a young team to the nationally acclaimed New England Championships on Saturday and ran a strong race, despite junior David Demres twisting his ankle during the race. The Bulldogs took 16th out of 47 teams at one of the largest collegiate cross country meets in the country with more than 300 runners competing.

Demres was running in the first 100 runners before twisting his ankle with half a mile to go, still managing to finish the race in 27:07. With the rest of the Bulldogs finishing in the top 80 runners, head coach Dan Ireland said the team would probably have met its original goal of placing in the top 10 schools without Demres' injury. 

"The first four guys ran really well," Ireland said. "They did what we thought they could do."

After twisting his knee and not being able to finish at Harvard-Yale, sophomore Sam Kirtner came back this weekend to cross the line first for the Bulldogs in 39th place overall (25:32). Freshman Michael Cunetta continued his impressive freshman season by running second for the Bulldogs in 56th place with a PR of 25:45, breaking the 26:00 mark for the first time in a collegiate race. Sophomores Kevin Lunn and Matthew Thwaites followed close behind in 65th place (25:50) and 79th place (26:00), respectively. The Bulldogs' performance at the New England Championships is even more impressive after mostly competing in smaller meets at the Dartmouth Invitational and Harvard-Yale this season.

"It gets the kids experience at that kind of race," Ireland said. 

The strong showing of younger runners at Franklin Park also sets the Bulldogs on a good foot for next year's Harvard-Yale dual meet, which is held on the same course.

Two other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth and Brown, also competed at the meet. While the Big Green took the title with 138 points, the Bulldogs finished ahead of the Bears, who came in 23rd place.

The Bulldogs will next compete with some of their more experienced runners at Penn State National on Oct. 16.

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity