After a soggy but sweet 27-28 victory over Harvard at the Big Two Championships in Franklin Park on Oct. 4, Yale men’s cross country returned to Cambridge on Friday for the New England Championship. But this time, the Elis fielded a different team, faced different competition and ran under different weather conditions.
Yale decided to rest the veteran harriers in preparation for next weekend’s Pre-National in Cedar Falls, Iowa. instead, the Elis sent their junior varsity squad, composed mostly of freshmen and sophomores.
The young Bulldogs finished Friday with 613 points and were 21st overall. Providence College won the tournament with 40 points. Brown finished second and Harvard finished 14th. Both Brown and Harvard sent their varsity squads.
“Based on what we did and what I saw from other Ivy League, I am really happy with the results,” head coach Daniel Ireland said. “Stacked up against Brown, the top team in the Ivy League, and comparing our times to theirs, we did a good job.”
Compared to the dual meet on Oct. 4 when Yale raced Harvard, the New England Championship was a much larger race.
“This was our biggest race this season, when you look at the numbers,” Stephen Carden ’07 said. “There were 47 schools competing and over 300 people running.”
The only seasoned Eli who participated in the race was captain Robert Dwyer ’04, who missed Yale’s first visit to Franklin Park this season because he was taking the LSATs. Dwyer had the Bulldogs’ fastest finish and placed No. 37 in the individual competition with a time of 25:30.
“We only ran our JV squad,” Coach Ireland said. “[Dwyer] came back to Franklin Park and ran a great race. He will be among the team’s top ten runners going to Pre-Nationals, where there will be 80 teams. Of those teams approximately 60 are ranked the best in the nation.”
Nathan Clute ’07 came in No. 108 with a time of 26:23 and Mark Turner ’06 came in No. 143 at 26:42. Rookies Brian Gertzen ’07 and Stephen Carden ’07 rounded out Yale’s top five, placing No. 161 and No. 164, respectively. Reed Mauser ’05 and Miles Farmer ’07 also competed.
The weather during the race was somewhat of an improvement from the cold, rainy conditions on the day of the Big Two Championships two weeks ago.
“It was about 70 degrees, dry, and warmer than the week before,” Ireland said. “But there was so much dust that after the race their faces were all black and teeth covered with dirt. It was definitely a factor.”
Pre-Nationals will give Yale a chance to prepare mentally for the Heptagonal Championships, scheduled to take place on Oct. 31. Runners said competing at the Pre-Nationals next week will make the Heps less intimidating.
Casey Moriarty ’05 is one of the top ten going to Pre-Nationals next weekend.
“At [the Pre-Nationals] we are going to be running against many of the top teams in the nation including Stanford and Colorado,” Moriarty said. “It’ll be a good experience for us to be in a race where the level of competition is much higher. We’re looking to surprise some teams and make a name for ourselves. There’s no pressure so we will definitely do our best.”