NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This Saturday, the Yale men's cross country team will be traveling to Madison, Wis., to compete against the top teams in the country at the 2018 Wisconsin Pre-National meet. The meet has been divided into two evenly-seeded races, with the Bulldogs set to run at 11:30 a.m., in the Cardinal Race. The first of the two sections, the Cardinal Race will feature 10 teams listed in the NCAA top 30 rankings – including four top 10 teams and Northern Arizona, currently ranked first in the nation. The race is set to take place on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.
The Bulldogs' travel squad will consist of only seven athletes, as this meet is intended to be a model of the NCAA National Championships to be held at this venue in November. Given that there is such a high number of nationally and regionally-ranked teams, this meet is the Bulldogs' most valuable opportunity to score points that can be used for NCAA qualification later in the season. Also, this meet will prove to be the Elis' toughest challenge of the season, having to compete against such a highly competitive field as this. The Bulldogs have competed well at this meet in recent seasons – placing 19th during the 2015 season.
Leading the Elis this weekend will be Captain Trevor Reinhart, Yale's top finisher at Ivy Heps and NCAA Regionals in 2017. Reinhart has been focusing on his training over the course of the last few weeks, and should be geared up for the break-out performance he has been expecting all season; he supported this claim, succinctly commenting, "I have been itching to race."
The upper-level student-athletes joining Reinhart will be Jonathan Lomogda, Armstrong Noonan and Allen Siegler. Lomogda is coming off a personal-best performance in the 6,000m from Harvard-Yale, and set his 8,000m best at this race in 2017. He should be set up to make waves this weekend. Noonan is a newcomer to Pre-Nationals, but has been a solid competitor for the Bulldogs this season – finishing as their fifth runner at the Paul Short Run. Siegler finished just ahead of Noonan at the Paul Short Run, as the second Eli over the finish line.
Prior to leaving campus for pre-meet travel, Noonan was asked to comment on fielding a young team at such a competitive race and what their goals are; he stressed his confidence, saying, "We're ready to be tested and the fact that we're running with numerous top 10 teams in the same race only means that we're going to be pushed that much harder which will pay dividends toward the end of the season. We want to make a statement this weekend to the rest of the league. With a pack this deep, we're certainly not a force to be reckoned with."
Rounding out the team will be Cade Brown, Will Laird and Robert Miranda. While these athletes may be younger and less experienced, they have shown throughout the season that they are ready and willing to compete against poised, veteran runners. Miranda led the Bulldogs at Harvard-Yale, and was third on the team at Paul Short, while Brown took his turn leading the way at Paul Short after finishing second on the team at Harvard-Yale. If these athletes continue running like they have been, expect to see impressive finishes from them this weekend.
The men's Cardinal Race will begin at 11:30 a.m. Results and a recap will be posted on yalebulldogs.com following the conclusion of the meet.
Report by Zachary Capello '19, Yale Sports Publicity