First Indoor Meet on Dec. 4
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs are ready to kick off another season under the direction of David Shoehalter, the newly installed Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field. Although the team doesn't have the numbers it did last year, Shoehalter said the Bulldogs still bring in a talented group of athletes that expect to top their fourth-place finish at outdoor Heptagonals last year. The first meet of the indoor season will be the Lidlifter Invitational at Coxe Cage on Dec. 4.
Senior captain Marty Evans, one of the top returners, will focus on the 400-meter dash for the indoor season. Evans earned All-Ivy honors at outdoor Heptagonals Championships for his second-place finish in the 200-meter dash, posting the No. 4 all-time outdoor time for Yale, and qualified for NCAA Regional in the 200-meter dash. Junior Matt Bieszard will also specialize in the 400-meter dash this year but expects to be flexible in other sprinting events as well. At last year's outdoor Heptagonals, Bieszard scored for the Bulldogs in the 100-meter dash and competed in the finals of the 200-meter dash. Senior Chris Stanley, who was a huge contributor in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays last season, will look to contribute in several individual events this year. Newcomers include freshman Dana Lindberg, the Massachusetts state champion in the 200-meter dash, and freshman Daniel Jones, who will compete in the short sprints for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs lose Chris Labosky '10, who qualified for NCAA Nationals last season and holds the school record in the 800-meter run. However, they will look to several younger runners to step up, including sophomore Chris Ramsey, who is coming off of a solid freshman year with a PR of 1:53.46 in the 800-meter run. Junior Andrew Esposito and sophomore Timothy Hillas also bring in experience, having competed in the 800-meter run at indoor Heptagonals and the 4x800-meter relay at outdoor Heptagonals last year. The Bulldogs will also seek contributions from junior Charlie Jaeger and freshman James Shirvell, the runner-up in the 1000-meter run at New England Championships indoors.
The Bulldogs have a solid group of several milers, including junior Conor Dooney, who brings in a PR of 3:52.47, junior Julian Sheinbaum, a key runner for the Bulldogs last cross country season and freshman John Cocco, the second-fastest miler in Connecticut last year. The Bulldogs will look to continue their success with the steeplechase with senior Matt Bogdan and junior Nathan Richards, both scorers at last year's outdoor Heptagonals. Junior Jake McKenzie is also a returning scorer from indoor Heptagonals in the 3,000-meter run. Other Bulldogs to look out for include junior Sam Lynch, sophomores Demetri Goutos and Sam Kirtner and freshmen Blake Hofmeister and Ryan Laemel, who are all coming off of solid cross country seasons.
In the triple jump, the Bulldogs return the duo of junior Yifan Chen, who competed at outdoor Heptagonals, and senior Samba Binagi, a walk-on from last year. The Bulldogs also bring in Lindberg, the Massachusetts state champion in the triple jump as well as an accomplished long jumper. In the pole vault, the team has some big shoes to fill with the graduation of Eric DePalo '10, the outdoor champion at Heptagonals and All-East honoree at IC4A Championships, but expect big things from freshman Paul Chandler, the Connecticut state champion in the pole vault for both indoors and outdoors.
Sophomore Mike Levine had an impressive freshman season, qualifying for the NCAA Regional in the discus. Levine placed No. 3 on Yale's all-time outdoor list, and set the freshman record, for the discus. He also placed No. 7 on Yale's all-time indoor list for the weight throw for his performance at indoor Heptagonals. In the shot put, senior David Smith was a finalist at indoor Heptagonals as well as a qualifier for the shot put at outdoor IC4As. The Bulldogs will also look toward freshman Stefan Palios, the runner-up in the discus at the Ontario provincial championships.
The relay teams have repeatedly brought out their best performances at post-season meets and expect to continue the trend this year. The 4x100 meter relay team returns Evans, Bieszard and Stanley from the squad that placed second at outdoor Heptagonals and set the No. 5 all-time best time for Yale outdoors. The 4x400 meter relay team placed third at outdoor Heptagonals and fourth at indoor Heptagonals. The distance medley relay team will also look to best its third place-finish at indoor Heptagonals last season.
Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity