Bulldogs Ready to Bring Out Best at Heptagonals

Max Walden (photo by Dan Grossman, MapleLeafPhotos.com)

Return Five Scorers From Last Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs will travel to New York this Friday to compete in the 71st annual Heptagonal Championships. The conference meet, which features all eight Ivy League schools, is the highlight of the cross country season for many runners. After an off meet at Penn State National, the Bulldogs look ready to bounce back with two weeks of solid training going into this weekend.

Head coach Dan Ireland said several runners could make a big impact this weekend. The Bulldogs return all top five scorers from last year's Heptagonals, including junior Conor Dooney, who placed 13th overall and earned All-Ivy last season. Junior Jeff Perrella should also play an important role, finishing as the Bulldogs' top runner at every meet he has raced in this season. Ireland also highlighted senior captain Max Walden and junior Julian Sheinbaum, who have consistently scored in the Bulldogs' top five this season.

Sophomore Demetri Goutos also joined the top five for the first time with his breakthrough race at Penn State National, while junior Nathan Richards and sophomore Sam Kirtner have consistently ran in the Bulldogs' top seven. Freshman Michael Cunetta will be the only freshman representing the Bulldogs, but his two finishes as the Bulldogs' second scorer this season has proved his competitiveness with more experienced runners. Other Bulldogs that could contribute include senior Chris Scavone, junior Jake McKenzie and sophomores Kevin Lunn and Matt Thwaites.

"The guys have trained hard all season and are looking forward to the opportunity of competing at Heps," Ireland said.

The Bulldogs look to improve from their seventh-place finish last year. Columbia is the defending champion, although Princeton, currently ranked 18th in the nation and first in the Mid-Atlantic Region, will look to reclaim the title. Only three Ivy League schools rank above Yale for the Northeast region: Dartmouth (third), Columbia (fourth), and Cornell (sixth). Harvard and Brown rank eighth and 12th, respectively, while Penn ranks sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The men's race at Van Cortlandt Park kicks off at 11:45 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Additional coverage and live results will be posted on Ivyleaguesports.com and Hepstrack.com. Complete results will be posted on Yalebulldogs.com after the meet.

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity