April 16, 2013

Levine Wins Twice As Harvard-Yale Combine to Beat Oxford-Cambridge

Hillas and Rowe Also Record First-Place Finishes

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's outdoor track and field team teamed up with its traditional rival, the Harvard Crimson, on Tuesday to take on a combined squad of Oxford and Cambridge athletes in a historic biennial meet that dates back to 1899. As has been the case for most of the past several meets, the Harvard-Yale team raced to victory on Tuesday by a score of 13-6, placing first in 13 of the 19 total events and winning the heralded Naughton Trophy.

Senior Mike Levine was the star of the meet for the Bulldogs, who brought nine athletes to Boston for the competition. Levine registered a first-place finish in the hammer throw, just edging out Harvard's Ben Glauser and Dustin Brode. His toss of 185'3" (56.47m) was his best of the season and the fourth-best of his remarkable collegiate career. But Levine did not stop there. He also placed first in the discus throw—arguably his best event. His throw of 169'3" (51.59m) far surpassed all the other competitors' attempts. Levine has now competed in four events this outdoor season, placing first three times. He also placed first in the discus at this meet the last time it was held in 2011. 

Senior team captain Timothy Hillas recorded another of Yale's four first-place finishes. Hillas completed the 5,000-meter run in 15:28.14, edging out the second-place finisher, Cambridge's Chris Bannon, by just more than two seconds. Traditionally one of the Elis' best middle-distance runners, Hillas was competing in the 5,000-meters for the first time in his esteemed, four-year collegiate career. Hillas' inexperience in the event did not appear to harm him in the slightest, as he was able to add a point to the Harvard-Yale tally.

The Bulldogs' other first-place finisher was sophomore William Rowe, who registered a time of 54.97 in the 400-meter hurdles. Rowe, who finished the race more than two seconds ahead of any other competitors, has established himself as the Elis' 400-meter hurdle specialist. His time on Tuesday was just 0.13 seconds short of his personal record in the event—which he set at the Tribe Invitational back in March. 

As expected, junior James Shirvell—one of only two Bulldogs, along with Levine, who competed in this meet in 2011—put on a strong showing in the 800-meter dash. Shirvell finished in 1:53.52, which, although not his best time, was good enough for a second-place finish. He closed the race just behind Cambridge's Jon Cook.

Meanwhile, junior pole vaulter Paul Chandler, competing for the first time this outdoor season after closing the indoor season on a streak of stellar performances, placed second (13'11.25"—4.25m). He trailed only Harvard's star senior Nico Weiler, who set the pole vaulting record for this meet back in 2009. Chandler's own impressive performance should help him gain some momentum for the rest of the outdoor season. 

After setting a personal record in the long jump against Harvard on Saturday, junior Dana Lindberg continued his success by setting a personal best in the 200-meter dash on Tuesday. Lindberg had run the event in 22.16 at the Tribe Invitational but managed to crack that mark by 0.04 seconds on Tuesday. He finished third in the race. Lindberg will hope to keep improving on his 200-meter times as the season continues in order to qualify for the IC4As later this year.

In the shortest sprint event of the day, the 100-meter dash, junior Daniel Jones finished in 11.27, just 0.2 seconds short of his best time this season. Jones placed fifth. And in the longest sprint event, the 400-meter dash, it was sophomore Dylan Hurley who led the way, also placing fifth (51.34). Hurley's showing was made even mote impressive by the fact that all those who competed in the race finished within three seconds of each other, and Hurley finished less than two seconds behind the winner.

Sophomore John McGowan also represented the Elis well. In the 1,500-meter run, McGowan ran a strong race, finishing in a tight group of four runners. The result was a fourth-place finish (4:03.41), although McGowan finished only 0.59 seconds behind the race winner, Oxford's Tom Frith.

Yale and Harvard's joint 4x400-meter relay team finished in 3:22.91, while the 4x100-meter relay team did not finish. 

The Bulldogs will seek to build on these performances as their schedule intensifies the rest of the season. The Elis head to Princeton next weekend for the Larry Ellis Invitational on April 19-20 before heading to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays the weekend after.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity