September 17, 2011

Bulldogs Second at Harvard

Lynch Leads Team Again

BOSTON- The Bulldogs men's cross country team faced Harvard on Saturday, and just barely fell to their northern rivals. The team combined for 34 points, just 11 shy of Harvard's 23 points. The team was lead by senior Sam Lynch, and a front group that consisted of upperclassmen, for the second meet in a row.

Lynch traversed the 8k course in 24:29, just behind two Harvard runners to finish third overall. Senior Conor Dooney was right on Lynch's tail, finishing fourth in 24:35. Juniors Demetri Goutos and Sam Kirtner were the next Yale runners across the line in seventh and eighth places, respectively (24:48 and 24:52). Junior Kevin Lunn was the final scoring athlete for the Bulldogs. He finished in 14th at 25:27, just in front of junior Matthew Thwaites (15th- 25:28), sophomore Miles Richardson (16th- 25:28) and senior captain Nathan Richards (17th- 25:29).

The Bulldogs' pack mentality was evident throughout the race: after a single Harvard runner behind Richards, the next three uniforms across the line were blue. Freshman John McGowan was 19th in 25:32, sophomore Michael Cunetta was 20th in 25:33 and sophomore Ryan Laemel was 21st in 25:37. Freshmen Isa Qasim (25th-26:06), Alec Borsook (27th- 26:11) and Tom Harrison (28th- 26:12) also finished in a pack.

Head coach Paul Harkins said that he "felt the men had a solid race today. It was the first race where they let loose and they performed well but I know, and they know, they are capable of more."

The squad's team effort fell just barely short of a victory over Harvard, as only 11 points separated the two teams. However, the fact that the team was able to run together, and place closely, is a sign that they will be able to be competitive later in the season by working together.

"We would have loved to have beaten Harvard today," said Harkins, "but the ultimate focus is the end of the season. I think that if we can progress from here, our men should be extremely competitive at the conference meet!"

The team's next step will be to "work extremely hard over the next two weeks to prepare for the Paul Short Invitational. Paul Short will be a good test for us to see how we stack up in a major competition and in the region, " commented Harkins.

The Paul Short Invitational will take place in Bethlehem, Pa., on Sep. 30. 

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity