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Middle-Distance Runners Shine at Virginia Challenge

John McGowan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
John McGowan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Shirvell Sets Personal Record in 1,500-Meter Run

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—During a weekend in which several members of the Yale men's track and field team competed at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships at Princeton, five of the Bulldogs' top middle-distance runners instead traveled to Charlottesville to run the 1,500-meters at the Virginia Challenge. 

The decision to forego IC4A competition appeared to be a good one, especially for junior James Shirvell. Shirvell (3:44.84) easily set a personal record at the meet, breaking his old personal best by nearly three seconds. He placed first in his heat and ninth overall. Shirvell was coming off a sixth-place finish in the 1,500-meters at Heps two weekends ago, but he beat his Heps finals time by almost seven seconds while competing in Charlottesville.

Sophomore John McGowan (3:50.30) was the next Eli to finish, placing third in his heat and 27th overall. McGowan ran almost an identical time (0.01 seconds faster) to what he ran in his 12th-place finish at Heps, and he finished just more than one second shy of his personal record. 

Meanwhile, senior team captain Timothy Hillas, in what figures to be the final race of his collegiate career, finished close behind McGowan in 3:51.08. He had just edged out McGowan in the event at Heps, finishing 11th.

Senior Sam Kirtnercoming off a 21st-place showing in the 1,500-meters at Heps—finished with a time of 3:57.56 this time around. Sophomore Matt Nussbaum, known primarily as a cross country and distance star, posted a solid 3:58.45. 

While the IC4As and Virginia Challenge mark the end of the season for most of the Elis, a couple select Bulldogs will continue their season at the NCAA East Regionals on May 23-25.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity