February 1, 2013

Bulldogs Rested and Ready for Giegengack Invitational

Coxe Cage to Host its Final Meet of Indoor Track Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This weekend's Giegengack Invitational at Coxe Cage will not only be the third home meet in four weeks for the Yale men's track and field team, but will also be their last home meet of the indoor track season. The annual unscored friendly meet, named in honor of legendary Yale track and field coach Bob Giegengack, typically attracts a wide range of both in-state competition and other East Coast competitors, and spans both Friday and Saturday. Last year, teams from schools like Penn, Umass Amherst, Colgate, Manhattan, St. Joseph's and Central Connecticut State all made the short trek to Coxe Cage for the meet.

The Bulldogs sent a team of only 20 individuals to last weekend's Terrier Invitational, hosted by Boston University, in order to ensure they would have a well-rested team for this weekend's meet. Most notably, Yale's long distance runners should be ready to give it their all this weekend, as the Elis did not enter any runners in long distance events last weekend. 

This weekend's events will begin Friday evening and end Saturday evening. Friday night will see the completion of the men's weight throw; long jump; high jump; 5,000-meter run; 200-meter dash and 4,000-meter distance medley relay.

The Elis will be represented well in the weight throw by senior Mike Levine, who has three first-place finishes in the event already this season. This season has been a bright one for Levine, who qualified for the IC4A meet with a toss of 57'8.25" (17.58m) in the season opener and who nearly broke his own personal record in the weight throw with a mark of 58'11.25" (17.96m) in the Yale Invitational earlier this year. 

The long jump will be the domain of junior Dana Lindberg and senior Tommy Winger. Lindberg's leap of 22'9.75" (6.95m) in the Bulldogs' Ivy League Opener a couple weekends ago is the seventh-best mark among Ivy League competitors this season. Winger, meanwhile, will seek to improve on his season-high mark of 21'5.25" (6.53m) from the season opener.

The Elis should also be competitive in the 200-meter dash, as their short sprinters have had a good season thus far—especially junior Daniel Jones. Jones' time of 22.39 at last weekend's Terrier Invitiational is the 12th-best 200-meter time in the Ivy League this season. Jones will be joined by numerous teammates in the event, including sophomore Dylan Hurley, freshman John Keisling, freshman Adam Lundquist (the Bulldogs' ace in the 60-meter hurdles) and sophomore William Rowe, who qualified for the IC4A meet in the 500-meter dash last weekend. 

The Bulldogs will be entering competitors in the 5,000-meter run for the first time this season, with ­­­­­­­freshman Kevin Dooney, senior Sam Kirtner, senior Kevin Lunn, sophomore Matt Nussbaum and senior Matthew Thwaites all expected to put on solid showings this weekend. Nussbaum, coming off of a cross country season in which he became one of the region's top long distance runners, will be competing for the first time this season and is ready to make his mark.

Saturday will see the bulk of the meet's competition. In the 60-meter hurdles, Lundquist hopes to continue his brilliant freshman season. He has already recorded the fourth-best time among Ivy League freshman in the event this season (8.47) and will be gunning for another top-three finish on Saturday. Jones will lead the way in the 60-meter dash for the Bulldogs. Hurley and Rowe figure to do well in the 500-meter and 400-meter dashes, respectively, this Saturday. 

One of the team's best events this season has been the pole vault, thanks primarily to junior Paul Chandler, whose vault of 15'5" (4.7m) last weekend was good for the fifth-best mark in the Ivy League this season. With a first-place finish two weekends ago and a fourth-place finish in a massive field last weekend, Chandler is poised for another top finish this Saturday. Freshman Brendan Sullivan, who took first in the event in the Bulldogs' season opener, may or may not compete this weekend due to injury.

The Bulldogs' best chance to take first, however, might just come in the middle distance events, where junior James Shirvell hopes to build on his dominating recent performances. Shirvell holds the Bulldogs' top times in both the 800-meter and 1,000-meter races this season, and has qualified for the IC4A in both events. Shirvell will be running the 1,000-meter race this weekend. Sophomore Michael Grace, meanwhile, figures to lead the Bulldogs in the 800-meter run, while senior Michael Pierce and freshman Max Payson will compete in the mile run. 

Senior Timothy Hillas, junior Ryan Laemel and sophomore John McGowan should record top times this weekend in the 3,000-meter run. Both Hillas and McGowan will be running long distance this weekend, but both have also qualified for the IC4A meet in the mile run this season. McGowan recorded the Elis' top mile time (4:04.70) of the season last weekend. Hillas finished right behind him, clocking in at 4:05.43. Hillas, Laemel and McGowan will all be running the 3,000-meter run for the first time this season.

The Bulldogs' 4x400-meter relay teams have yet to be finalized for this weekend, but they will have a great opportunity to take home a top-three finish and will likely include skilled sprinters like Grace, Hurley, Pierce, Rowe and Shirvell. Junior Mark Kaczor--and possibly junior Stefan Palios--will represent the Elis in the shot put.

This weekend's action will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday with the long jump, weight throw and high jump. Friday's festivities will then conclude with the distance medley relay at 8:15 p.m. Saturday's events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the shot put and end with the 4x400 meter relay at 5:05 p.m. A full schedule of events for this weekend can be found online at http://www.directathletics.com/2013GiegengackInvitational.pdf?downloader=1&sport=track&meet_hnd=26789. Results will be posted following the meet at coolrunning.com and yalebulldogs.com when they become available. Live results are available at http://files.milesplit.us/live_results/133848/index.html

Report by Zach Schloss '15, 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, 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. He demanded the best effort possible from each athlete, 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 even 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 track and field team. The Giegengack legacy of talent, devotion and high ideals lives on at Yale today.

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