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Bulldogs Take First in Distance Medley Relay Prelims on Day One of IC4As

MIchael Pierce (photo by Dan Grossman,
MIchael Pierce (photo by Dan Grossman,

Exciting Distance Medley Relay Final Scheduled for Sunday Afternoon

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—At the end of day one of the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships, the Yale men's indoor track and field team has quite a bit to be excited about. Amidst some strong individual performances from some of their best athletes, the Bulldogs made their biggest mark of the day on Sunday in the distance medley relay prelims, as the team of sophomore Dylan Hurley, senior Sam Kirtner, sophomore Matt Nussbaum and senior Michael Pierce took first place with an impressive time of 9:53.73. The IC4As, hosted by Boston University, are the Bulldogs' second postseason meet of the year, and pit the Elis against other star athletes from New England and the Mid-Atlantic who met specified entry standards throughout the course of the season.

The Bulldogs' distance medley relay team not only set the ninth-fastest mark in the event in Yale history, but they also solidified their status as one of the frontrunners for tomorrow's final. Prior to Saturday, neither Kirtner nor Nussbaum had competed in the distance medley relay in their entire collegiate careers, and Pierce had not run the event competitively since mid-January. Hurley, meanwhile, was a member of the relay team that completed the race in a speedy 9:54.50 last weekend at Heps, placing fifth. Kirtner (typically a long-distance threat) ran the 1200-meter portion of the race, Hurley (one of the Bulldogs' top long sprinters) ran the 400-meter leg, Pierce (a middle-distance specialist) ran the 1,200-meter portion and Nussbaum (a cross country star who was recently named an USTFCCCA All-Academic Honoree) ran the 1,600-meter anchor leg. Yale's time edged out Army's by just less than half a second and Connecticut's by just less than one second. The men's distance medley relay final will take place at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, junior James Shirvell—who has arguably been the Bulldogs' star in the track events this season—placed 29th in the 800-meter run prelims with a time of 1:54.04. In addition to recording stellar times in all the middle-distance events and qualifying for the IC4As in five different events, Shirvell had the fastest time of the season in the event for the Elis (1:52.31) and was coming off an impressive third-place finish in the 1,000-meter run at Heps last weekend. Unfortunately, Shirvell failed to qualify for Sunday's 800-meter final by less than 3 seconds.

Junior Daniel Jones represented the Bulldogs at the IC4As in the 60-meter dash for the second straight year, running a 7.13 and placing 33rd. Jones has been the Elis' 60-meter ace all season, and he qualified for the IC4As after running a 6.97 in the 60-meter dash last weekend at Heps, placing 11th in prelims. 

The Bulldog's final representation of the day came from the 4x800-meter relay team of junior John Cocco, sophomore Michael Grace, freshman Pete Merritt and freshman Max Payson. The team's time of 7:51.55 was enough for a 20th-place finish. Cocco, Grace and Merrit were part of the 4x800-meter relay team that finished in 7:48.20 at the Yale Invitational.

The Bulldogs are currently scoreless, but their distance medley relay team should have an excellent chance to bring home some points in Sunday's final. Additionally, junior Paul Chandler will seek to place highly in Sunday's pole vault final. 

Sunday's festivities will begin early for the men's teams—at 9:30 a.m. with the long jump final—and end at around 3:30 p.m. with the 4x400 meter relay finals. The awards ceremony is scheduled for around 4:00 p.m. A full schedule of events can be found here. Live stats are available at, and results will be available at the end of the day on

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity