Bulldogs Gear Up for Penn Relays

Eric DePalo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Eric DePalo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Also Holds Springtime Invitational on Sunday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This week, several Bulldogs will have the chance to compete in the Penn Relays, one of the most renowned track and field meets in the world, from April 22-25. The team will also host the Yale Springtime Invitational at Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Complex on April 25. After defeating Harvard at the annual Harvard-Yale dual meet last week, the Bulldogs are heading into the last two regular season meets before Heptagonals Championships in early May.

"After an emotional win against Harvard, we use this meet to refocus and have a little fun,” head coach David Shoehalter said.

The Bulldogs will send four athletes, all competing in field events, and four relay teams to the Penn Relays. Many of them are coming off some of their best performances from Harvard-Yale last week. Senior Eric DePalo will compete in the Eastern division of the pole vault after breaking through with three wins in the pole vault, high jump and 110-meter hurdles last Saturday. Senior Reynolds Holmes, who won the long jump, will also compete in the Eastern division of the event at the Penn Relays. Both Holmes and DePalo will look to build off of their performances at Penn Relays last year; DePalo took eighth in the pole vault, and Holmes took 14th in the long jump. Freshman Mike Levine will compete in the championship division of the discus, in which he has been piling up wins all season. Junior David Smith will also compete in the Eastern division of the shot put after making a new PR last week.

The Bulldogs' relay squads should also prove competitive this weekend. The 4x400-meter relay made a season best at Harvard-Yale and has the potential to do so again with the contributions of senior David Soiles, junior Marty Evans, sophomore Matt Bieszard and others. The 4x100 meter relay team also ran a season best last week. Although the 4x800 meter relay and distance medley relay teams have not raced in the last several weeks, they should be ready to compete after the impressive individual performances the distance runners have shown throughout the season. 

The rest of the team will compete at the Springtime Invitational on Sunday. In the triple jump, junior Samba Binagi has been consistently jumping in the 13-meter range and could make another PR before the start of postseason. In the sprints, teammates junior Evans and Bieszard continue to build off of each other to run faster times in the middle sprints. Evans also heads into the weekend with a PR and an IC4A-qualifying time in the 400-meter dash. Senior Ted Galligan had season bests in both the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles last week and should represent the Bulldogs well in the hurdles. The 100-meter dash may see contributions from Holmes and juniors Nathan Molina and Chris Stanley, who both made season bests last weekend, as well as sophomore Yifan Chen

The distance runners also had an impressive showing at Harvard-Yale and look strong going into the meets this week. Senior Chris Labosky clocked in a NCAA provisional time in the 800-meter run last Friday at Princeton in addition to a second-place finish at Harvard-Yale. Senior Remi Ray and freshman Chris Ramsey are also coming off PRs in the 800-meter run; Ray, who did not compete for most of the outdoor season, has made a smooth transition back into racing. Senior Alex Harris also looks strong after winning his first race in the 3,000-meter steeplechase this season, as well as junior Matt Bogdan and sophomore Nathan Richards. The Bulldogs have always had a solid lineup in the 1,500-meter run, with sophomore Conor Dooney winning at Harvard-Yale, junior Jeff Perrella placing third and sophomore Julian Sheinbaum placing fifth with a breakthrough time this season. The Bulldogs will also continue to look to sophomore Jake McKenzie in the 5,000-meter run and junior Max Walden in the 10,000-meter run.                   

The Penn Relays, the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the U.S, takes place at UPenn's Franklin Field in Philadelphia. It is the best attended track and field meet in the U.S. as well as one of the best attended in the world. This year, the meet will draw over 22,000 entries and 110,000 spectators, with 48,000 expected to attend on Saturday alone.

The Springtime Invitational, although not as huge as the Penn Relays, still marks the end of the regular season for the Bulldogs.

“For many of the guys, it's the last chance to break into the lineup for Heps and for all of the seniors who are competing, it's their last time on our home track,” Shoehalter said. 

Results of the Penn Relays will be posted on thepennrelays.com and Yalebulldogs.com after the meets. Results of the Springtime Invitational will be posted on Yalebulldogs.com. A complete schedule of the Penn Relays can be found here, and a complete schedule of the Springtime Invitational can be found here. Buses to the Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Field Complex will leave every half hour in front of Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity