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Bulldogs Race to Fourth-Place Finish at Paul Short Invitational

Kevin Dooney.
Kevin Dooney.

Dooney Sets PR in Seventh-Place Overall Finish

BETHLEHEM, Pa.—With several of its top runners not having competed since Sept. 12, the Yale men's cross country team used its time off to its advantage while running to a fourth-place finish at the competitive Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished with 132 points, behind only Navy (95 points), University of Guelph (123) and Adams State (129). The meet attracted schools from across the country and even from Canada. Other notable programs competing at the meet included Alabama, Army, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Iona, Lehigh, St. Joseph's, Penn and Villanova.

The Bulldogs—ranked fourth in the Northeast Region in the latest USTFCCCA poll—managed to leave Bethlehem with a fourth-place finish thanks to their tremendous depth. Their top five runners each finished among the race's overall top 37 runners, while their top seven each finished among the race's top 66 competitors. The Elis had the highest-placing fifth-place and seventh-place team finishers of all schools except for first-place Navy.

The team's top three was the same—albeit in a slightly different order—as in its season opener three weeks ago. Junior Kevin Dooney continued the brilliant start to his season on Saturday, running a personal record time of 23:55 to finish seventh overall, as well as first on the team for his second consecutive race. Dooney was close to placing even higher, as he crossed the finish line just nine seconds behind the race's third-place finisher and two seconds behind the fifth-place finisher.

Freshman Cameron Stanish (24:25) also turned some heads with his impressive performance in just his second career collegiate race. After finishing third on the team in his debut at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet three weeks ago, Stanish improved his time by ten seconds while running to a second-place team finish on Saturday. The talented freshman finished 25th overall and was the third-fastest freshman in Saturday's race.

Finishing four seconds behind Stanish was junior Duncan Tomlin, who ran a nearly identical time to the one that earned him a second-place team finish against Harvard and Princeton to open the season. Sophomore James Randon (24:35) and senior team captain John McGowan (24:38) finished in 34th and 37th place overall to round out Yale's top five. In a powerful demonstration of the team's depth, the Bulldogs' second- through fifth-place runners all finished within 13 seconds of each other on Saturday.

Sophomore Andre Ivankovic (24:51) finished sixth on the team for the second time this season in as many races, while freshman Adam Houston (24:56) showed remarkable improvement from his times of 25:40 and 26:33 in his first two collegiate races, while finishing seventh on the team. Senior Isa Qasim (25:21), freshman Hale Ross (25:29) and freshman Ryan Brady (25:35) each finished just outside of the Bulldogs' top seven in strong performances of their own.

In addition to entering 10 runners in Saturday's primary "gold race," the Elis also entered five runners in the Paul Short "open race." Freshman Casey Celestin (31st –25:42) and sophomore Spike Sievert (35th – 25:47) were the two Yale competitors in the field that recorded times under the 26:00 mark. Sophomore J.P. Meredith, junior Max Payson and senior Jacob Sandry also took part in the race, as the trio continues to get some early-season running under their belt.

After their strong team showing on Saturday, the Bulldogs will begin preparations for the New England Championships, to be held in Boston on Oct. 11.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity