Team Seeks to Begin Postseason on High Note
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's indoor track and field team will start postseason competition this weekend when the Bulldogs travel to Harvard's Gordon Indoor Track for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the signature event of the season. The Bulldogs are well rested after having last week off, and many of the team's top athletes figure to be very competitive for top finishes this weekend. Many members of the team have had record-setting regular seasons, and they hope to build on that momentum this weekend.
If the Elis capture a top team finish this weekend, it will likely be in large part due to their success in the field events—specifically the success of junior pole vaulter Paul Chandler and senior weight thrower Mike Levine. Chandler registered this season's third-best vault in the Ivy League (15'9" – 4.8m) two weekends ago at the HYP rivalry meet. The vault was good enough to place him at fifth on Yale's all-time record list in the event. His primary competition will be a range of athletes from Cornell, Harvard and Princeton—including Harvard senior Nico Weller, who has the top vault in the league this year. Levine, meanwhile, has the third-longest weight throw in the Ivies this year (58'11.25" – 17.96m). Levine's collegiate personal record in the event is 59'00" (17.98m), and it is possible he might need to break that mark to beat out tough competition from Cornell and Harvard. Chandler and Levine have both qualified for the IC4As—which will be held the weekend after Heps—in their respective events.
The Bulldogs are also likely to be very competitive in the middle and long-distance events this weekend. Junior James Shirvell has been the team's middle-distance star this season, and he has the team's top times in both the 800-meter (1:52.31) and 1,000-meter (2:26.08) runs this year. Shirvell is an IC4A qualifier in both of those events, as well as in the mile run. Similarly, sophomore John McGowan is an IC4A qualifier in all three middle distance events, and his mile time of 4:04.70 at January's Terrier Classic is the second-best time in Yale history. The Elis' team captain, senior Timothy Hillas, has qualified for the IC4As in both the mile run and 1,000-meter run, as well as the 3,000-meter run. Hillas finished just behind McGowan at the Terrier Classic in the mile run, and his time of 4:05.43 is the fourth-best time ever registered by a Bulldog. The Elis also have a range of skilled 5,000-meter runners, including senior Kevin Lunn (season-best time of 14:29.18), senior Demetri Goutos (14:37.71) and freshman Kevin Dooney (14:47.53).
The longer sprints will likely be the domain of a pair of sophomores: Dylan Hurley and William Rowe. Hurley's time of 49.46 in the 400-meter dash is ninth in the Ivies this year, while Rowe's mark of 1:04.90 in the 500-meter dash is 11th.
Junior Daniel Jones will lead the way in the 60-meter dash. At the HYP meet, he made it to the finals in the event and placed sixth. Jones has already registered two top-three finishes in the event this season.
Junior Dana Lindberg has the 10th-best long jump measurement in the Ivies this season (22'9.75" – 6.95m) and has been a force to be reckoned with all year. Junior Stefan Palios has been the team's top competitor in the shot put for most of the season, and he will likely compete again this weekend.
Freshman Brendan Sullivan will join Chandler in the pole vault. Despite an injury-shortened debut season, Sullivan has flashed brilliance at times this year, with a pair of second-place finishes—including a vault of 15'3" (4.65m) at the HYP meet.
The Bulldogs are also expected to enter teams in both relay events this weekend.
The Championships will span both Saturday and Sunday. The festivities for the men's teams will begin at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday with the 60-meter dash portion of the heptathlon and conclude with the 3,000-meter seeded race at 5:35 p.m. Saturday will feature prelims in almost all of the track events, as well as finals in the weight throw, pole vault and long jump. The men's events will begin bright and early again on Sunday with the 60-meter hurdles portion of the heptathlon at 10:00 a.m. and will round up with the 4x400 meter seeded relay at 4:15 p.m. Sunday will see the completion of finals in all of the track events, as well as in the high jump, triple jump and shot put. The awards ceremony is schedule for 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. A full schedule of events can be found here. Results will be posted on yalebulldogs.com upon completion of each day, and live stats will be available here during the weekend's action.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity