February 3, 2012

Day One of Giegengack Brings Two Yale Victories

Qasim, Levine Highlight Stupendous Start to Meet

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs turned in an another impressive performance on day one of the Giegengack Invitational at Coxe Cage, with two first-place and two second-place finishes through only six completed events. The meet continues tomorrow, but the Elis already have much with which they can be pleased.

In their first attempt at the distance this season, Yale's distance runners were in fine form in the 5,000-meter run. Freshman Isa Qasim (1st – 14:52.41), junior Matthew Thwaites (2nd – 14:54.04) and junior Kevin Lunn (3rd – 14:55.29) swept the top three spots. The Yale front trio finished a full ten seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. It was a personal record for all three, and for Qasim in particular it was a breakthrough race in his young collegiate career. The distance medley team later followed up with a fifth-place result (10:07.48).

Junior Mike Levine rebounded from a disappointing showing last week with a convincing victory in the weight throw (16.87m). His mark was just shy of his best of the season (16.93m).

In the lone sprint event of the evening, senior captain Matthew Bieszard was second in the 200-meter dash (22.24). Bieszard was edged out by one-tenth of a second by the University of New Haven's David Thomas. Sophomore Daniel Jones was ninth in the race (22.77).

Sophomore Dana Lindberg was also barely bested by Thomas in the long jump. Lindberg finished second with a jump of 6.94m, his best of the season. Freshman Kyle Bajtos took seventh in the high jump (1.84m).

Competition will resume tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 5:05 p.m. Results will be available at www.yalebulldogs.com.

Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity

This meet is named in honor of legendary Yale track and field coach Bob Giegengack. In his 29 years at Yale, the USA Track and Field Hall of Famer led the Elis to 183 victories, four IC4A titles, and 13 outdoor and four indoor Heptagonal championships. Teacher, coach, philosopher, tireless storyteller and international leader in track and field, Bob Giegengack spent more than 40 fruitful, exciting years in a career he loved. Helping talented young people to excel, both in their sport and in their studies, met his highest ideals. He trained his athletes, encouraged them and taught them strategies for success, always with the goal of mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body. From each athlete, he demanded the best effort possible, not just for the sake of individual achievement, but also for the good of the team. Beginning with his high school students at Brooklyn Prep, then at Fordham and Yale, and as an Olympic coach in Melbourne (1956) and Tokyo (1964), "Gieg" worked to fulfill his personal ideals as a teacher, mentor and competitor. After his retirement in 1976, he coached Yale's first women's team. The Giegengack legacy of talent, devotion and high ideals lives on at Yale t