April 12, 2012

Yale Aims to Return to Winning Ways Versus Rival Harvard

Bragging Rights at Stake at Annual Showdown

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs are set to travel to Cambridge, Mass., this Saturday for their much-anticipated annual rivalry matchup against Harvard. This year will be the 122nd rendition of the meet in a tradition that dates back to 1891. Before falling to the Crimson last year, the Elis were riding eight consecutive victories from 2003 – 2010, and they hope to start a new winning streak this weekend.

On paper, it figures to be a tightly contested competition between the two sides. Yale will be led by senior captain Matthew Bieszard, the clear favorite in the 400-meter run. His best time this year (48.54) is more than a second faster than that of Harvard senior John Dingus. Bieszard will also compete as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team and with the All-East 4x400-meter relay team. The latter has a clear edge over its Crimson counterpart, but the former promises to be an exciting contest as the teams have run nearly identical times this season (42.78 for Yale and 42.86 for Harvard).

The Elis will look to sophomore Daniel Jones in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Jones is the lone Bulldog to have broken 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash this season (10.97), and he will face off against three Harvard runners who have done so.

Yale's middle distance runners have tended to focus on the 1500-meter run rather than the 800-meter run this season, and that emphasis shows in their relative times. The Bulldogs have a pronounced advantage in the longer race with four runners (juniors Timothy Hillas and Sam Kirtner and freshmen John McGowan and Jacob Sandry) holding faster times than Harvard's top miler. Harvard does have a number of strong 800-meter runners, but Yale senior Charlie Jaeger and the rest of the middle distance cohort still have the potential to score in the event.

Based on their times from last week's Sam Howell Invitational, juniors Kevin Lunn (30:53.35) and Matthew Thwaites (31:02.14) are strongly favored in the 10,000-meter run. The fastest Harvard runner at the same meet finished in 31:28.95. Likewise, junior Nathan Richards, a winner at this meet last year, should have little trouble repeating his victory in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Only one Eli, freshman Michele Gama Sosa, has run the 5000-meter run outdoors this year.

Freshmen Daniel Kemp and William Rowe will represent the Bulldogs in the 110-meter high hurdles and 400-meter intermediate hurdles, respectively.

Junior Mike Levine will look to avenge his loss in this meet last year to Harvard's Edward Rucker in the discus throw. Levine enters the meet with the best mark in the field this year (50.79m). He also has the second-furthest hammer throw mark among all competitors (56.55m).

Similarly, sophomore Dana Lindberg has outperformed his Harvard counterparts to date in the long jump, with a personal best of 7.05m. Sophomore Paul Chandler will face stiff competition from the Crimson in the pole vault, but undoubtedly has the potential to reach the podium.

The meet is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Full results will be available afterwards on www.yalebulldogs.com.

Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity