February 7, 2013

Bulldogs Gearing Up for Showdown With Crimson and Tigers

Annual HYP Meet Provides Bulldogs With Final Preparation for Postseason

NEW HAVEN, Conn.— With the Ivy League Heptagonal and IC4A Championships just around the corner, the Yale men's indoor track and field team will face off against archrivals Harvard and Princeton on Saturday at the annual scored HYP meet. This year's meet, to be held at Princeton's Jadwin Gym, provides the Bulldogs with an opportunity to build on the stellar performances they have already strung together this season. Although Yale's lineup will remain private until Saturday, the Elis should have most of their top athletes entered in their best events this weekend. 

The Bulldogs will have an especially good chance to take home some top finishes in the field events, where junior Paul Chandler, senior Mike Levine and junior Dana Lindberg have had phenomenal seasons in their respective events.

Chandler has excelled in the pole vault in his penultimate collegiate season. His mark of 15'5" (4.7m) at the Terrier Invitational two weekends ago is tied for the sixth-best measurement in Yale history. He will have to outdo the Crimson's Nico Weiler and the Tigers' Adam Bragg, who have recorded the first and third-best vaults in the Ivy League this season, respectively. Levine, the Bulldogs' star weight thrower, has numerous first-place finishes under his belt already this season, as well as the third-best toss in the Ivy League this year, at 58'11.25" (17.96m). Levine has already qualified for the IC4As in the weight throw. Lindberg, meanwhile, will seek to improve on his season-best mark of 22'9.75" (6.95m) in the long jump, while facing a strong crew of Princeton jumpers. 

If last weekend's results at the annual Giegengack Invitational at Coxe Cage are any indication, the Bulldogs should be quite a force to be reckoned with in the track events too—especially the middle and long distance events. Junior James Shirvell took first place after running the 1,000-meter run in 2:26.08—the 15th-fastest time in Yale history. Shirvell, already an IC4A qualifier in both the 1,000-meter and 800-meter runs, will likely be entered in at least one of the middle distance events this weekend. Senior Michael Pierce will likely lead the way for the Bulldogs in the mile run, after posting a solid time of 4:19.98 last weekend. Sophomore Michael Grace could see action in the 800-meter run after placing seventh in the event last weekend. Sophomore John McGowan might also compete in some of the middle distance events, as his second-place finish in the mile run (4:08.44) in the Bulldogs' Ivy League opener certainly turned some heads.

In the longest track event of the day—the 3,000-meter run—the Elis' success will likely rest in large part on the very capable shoulders of senior and team captain Timothy Hillas. Hillas dominated the field in the event last weekend, coming in first by nearly 16 seconds, both qualifying for the IC4As and running the 6th-fastest 3,000-meter time in Yale history. Freshman Kevin Dooney, senior Sam Kirtner and senior Demetri Goutos are all likely to join Hillas in the 3,000-meters, as they have registered Yale's second, third and fourth-best times of the season in the event, respectively. 

Junior Daniel Jones, meanwhile, has been the Bulldogs' best short sprinter this season, and he placed third and sixth, respectively, in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes last weekend. Lindberg, the Elis' star long jumper, actually has Yale's top 200-meter time of the year and could be a factor in the short sprints as well. A pair of improving sophomores—Dylan Hurley and William Rowe—have been the Elis' best and most consistent long sprinters for most of the season. Rowe is an IC4A qualifier in the 500-meter run this year but typically specializes in the 400-meters. Hurley will likely be running the 500-meter run this weekend for the Bulldogs. He has competed in the event three times this season, and has improved his mark by approximately one second each time since he first ran the event in the season opener. The Bulldogs also expect a good performance from freshman Adam Lundquist—who has had a strong collegiate debut season—in the 60-meter hurdles.

The Elis' top 4x400-relay team—consisting of Hurley, sophomore Mario Kranjac, Rowe and junior Nnamdi Udeh—will likely take to the track on Saturday after placing third at the Giegengack (3:20.42) last weekend. Junior Mark Kaczor represented the Bulldogs in the shot put last weekend, and he will likely be joined on Saturday by junior Stefan Palios—who has the Elis' season-best mark in the event at 45'9.6" (13.96m). 

This Saturday's action will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the shot put and weight throw and end at 3:45 p.m. with the men's 4x800 meter relay. A full schedule of events is available at http://www.directathletics.com/HYPSchedule2013.doc?downloader=1&sport=track&meet_hnd=27650. Live stats will be available during the meet at http://tumeytiming.com/mm/Hypindoor/, and final results will be posted on yalebulldogs.com after the meet.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity

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