Bulldogs Compete in Final Regular Season Meet of 2016
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—On Friday, some athletes on the Yale men's cross country team will run their last race of the 2016 season. The CCSU Mini Meet, hosted by Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn., is a five-kilometer race historically occurring the week before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Thus, Yale generally sends primarily non-Heps competitors, as the athletes competing in the championships will be focusing on that event. However, this meet has also served as a chance for athletes to demonstrate that they deserve an opportunity to race at the Ivy League Championships or for athletes to gain a bit more racing experience before the championship season begins.
The CCSU Mini Meet's shorter distance compared to the typical eight-kilometer collegiate men's race also provides an opportunity for the middle-distance runners to race in the fall. Indeed, if past seasons are any indication, there will potentially be an athlete or two on the team that will only race in this cross country meet before transitioning to the indoor track season in just a few weeks.
The Elis generally run 10-12 athletes at the Ivy League Championships, and last weekend the 10 Bulldogs who ran at the Princeton Invite raced extremely well. Thus it is likely that the vast majority of these athletes will be on the roster for Heps. The remaining athletes on the team will therefore comprise most of the runners competing on Friday.
Freshman Peter Ryan finished first on the team at the New England Championships. Because he did not race at Princeton he is a probable competitor for the Elis on Friday. Similarly, freshman James Lewis could also race to gain more experience and to begin to transition to the shorter distances he will likely run on the indoor track. These runners may also be in contention for a spot on the Ivy League Championships team and thus will be looking for strong performances.
Juniors Thomas Gmür, Scott Meehan and Michael Yuan will also probably race at CCSU. They all raced at the New England Championships, but tend to focus on the middle distances during the track and field season. Additionally, Gmür and Meehan have run this meet in each of the last two seasons.
In what could be his final race as an Eli, senior Tim Cox will likely compete this week. He has run consistently for the team in the past three years and will bring all of the experience he has gained to run a strong race on Friday.
Other potential wild cards for the Elis include athletes who have not raced so far this season, such as junior Schan Lartigue or sophomore Pascal Ungersboeck, or athletes who raced at Princeton but who either need more racing experience before the post-season, or who will not be competing at the Ivy League Championships.
The meet will take place on Friday at CCSU, with races beginning at 4 and 4:30 p.m.
Report by Joseph Battles '18, Yale Sports Publicity