Lineup Changes, High Expectations Don't
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs will travel to Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass., on Sunday to square off against more than 40 regional schools at the New England Championships. The meet is one of the largest of the season, and will feature familiar adversaries Brown and Dartmouth along with area rivals New Haven, Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut and reigning champion UConn.
In order to be in prime condition for next week's Wisconsin Invitational, the top seven Yale finishers from last weekend's Paul Short Invitational have been given the week off from competition. Their absence opens the door for a number of other Elis to take center stage this weekend.
Even without bringing many of his best runners, coach Paul Harkins remains supremely confident in his traveling team.
"We are going in with the goal of winning the meet," he said. "I think our group is deep enough to still be in contention for the win at New Englands."
Yale finished 17th out of 43 teams at last year's rendition of the meet, but this year's team has shown improvement over its 2011 results at every race so far.
Running in the varsity race will be junior Michael Cunetta, sophomore Tom Harrison, senior Sam Kirtner, sophomore Isa Qasim, sophomore Jacob Sandry, senior Matthew Thwaites and freshman Duncan Tomlin. Cunetta, Kirtner, Sandry and Thwaites have all scored for the Bulldogs on multiple occasions in the past, and will be looking to make their cases for inclusion in the Elis' top group with strong performances this weekend. Meanwhile, the youthful trio of Harrison, Qasim and Tomlin will have the opportunity to gain valuable varsity experience against quality competition.
The men's sub-varsity 8k race is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. with the varsity race to follow at 2:15 p.m. A course map is available on the meet website and results will be posted there and on www.yalebulldogs.com following the races.
Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity