Yale Seeks to Use Early-Season Momentum to Come Out on Top in First Scored Meet
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Coxe Cage will play host this Sunday to the annual tri-meet that pits the Yale men's track and field team against teams from Columbia and Dartmouth. Sunday's meet will be the Bulldogs' first Ivy League meet of the indoor track season and will also be the Elis' first scored meet of the year. After coming in first at the annual meet every year between 2005 and 2009, the Bulldogs placed second in 2010 and 2011 before coming in third last year. Yale hopes to build off dominating performances in its first two unscored meets of the season and once again leave the meet as first-place finishers.
Senior Mike Levine has arguably been the star of the team this year, placing first in the weight throw in each of the season's first two meets. Levine gives Yale a great chance to win the weight throw again this weekend, and he is coming off a meet last weekend in which his toss of 58'11.25" (17.96m) nearly broke his own personal record.
In the other field events, Yale hopes for strong showings from junior Paul Chandler in the pole vault, junior Dana Lindberg and senior Tommy Winger in the long jump, senior Mark Kaczor in the shot put and freshman Pete Merritt in the high jump. Chandler, Lindberg and Winger each have already registered top-three finishes this season. Freshman pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan, whose leap of 14'9" (4.5m) in the season opener placed him at 14th on Yale's all-time record list, will not be competing due to injury.
The Bulldogs have also achieved much success in the track events in the season's first two meets, especially in the middle and long distance events. Senior Michael Pierce has registered a first-place finish in the mile run, junior James Shirvell has a first-place finish in the 1,000-meter run and senior Demetri Goutos won the 3,000-meter run just last weekend with a personal record of 8:40.26. Senior Sam Kirtner also placed second in the mile run last weekend. A pair of freshmen—Max Payson and Kevin Dooney—have made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in the mile run (4:32.71) and third-place finish in the 3000-meter run (8:44.66), respectively, thus far this season. Pierce and Payson will be running the mile again this weekend, Shirvell will be running the 1,000-meter race and Dooney, Goutos and Kirtner will be running the 3,000-meter run, the longest race of the day. Sophomore Michael Grace will be another name to watch in the 800-meter run, as his time of 1:57.67 in the season opener is Yale's top 800-meter time the season. The Elis even have the potential to improve on their recent performances in the long distance events, as senior Matthew Thwaites is expected to see his first action of the season on Sunday in the 3,000-meter run.
Sophomore Dylan Hurley, who specializes in the longer sprints, will lead the Bulldogs in the 500-meter dash, and he has a fifth-place finish in the 500-meter dash and a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash already this year. Junior Daniel Jones has been the Elis' most dominant short sprinter this season, making the finals in the 60-meter dash in each of the season's first two meets. He will be running the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes this weekend. Junior Nnamdi Udeh will be running the 400-meter and 200-meter dashes, after placing third in the 400-meters last weekend.
The Bulldogs can also expect another strong showing in the 60-meter hurdles, thanks to freshman Adam Lundquist, who has taken second and fourth in the event thus far this season with times of 8.75 and 8.47, respectively. Sophomore Daniel Kemp is also likely to be a top competitor in the event.
In the relays, the Bulldogs figure to be especially competitive in the 4x400 meter race, after placing second in the event in the season opener. Yale's 4x800-meter relay teams will be hoping to build off a third place finish in the event last weekend.
This Saturday's field events will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the weight throw and shot put, while the running events are slated for a 1:00 p.m. start time. The final event of the day for the men will be the 4x400 meter relay, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. A full schedule of events is available at http://www.directathletics.com/YDCSCHEDULE.pdf?downloader=1&sport=track&meet_hnd=27498. Results will be available after the meet at www.yalebulldogs.com and coolrunning.com.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity