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Shirvell Represents Yale at the NCAA Championships

James Shirvell. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
James Shirvell. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Star's Strong Season to Continue at USA Track & Field Championships

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team was represented on the ultimate track and field stage on Thursday, at the Division I NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Junior middle-distance star James Shirvell, the Bulldogs' recently elected 2013-2014 team captain, competed against the country's most talented runners in the 1,500-meter run on Thursday, posting an impressive time of 3:50.91. 

Shirvell qualified for the NCAA Championships by dominating at the NCAA East Regional a couple weeks ago. After setting a personal record time in his opening race, Shirvell shattered that record in the Regional final, running a 3:41.09—the fastest 1,500-meter race in Yale history. Shirvell entered the NCAA Championships with the fifth-seeded overall time, but his time on Thursday was unfortunately not quite fast enough to qualify him for the 1,500-meter final, slated for Saturday. Of the 24 athletes competing on Thursday, only the top five from each heat, plus the next two top times, earned spots in Saturday's final. Shirvell placed 23rd overall, while Oregon's Mac Fleet recorded the top overall time—3:41.21.

Shirvell started Thursday's race off strong and was in second place in his heat after 300 meters and sixth after 700 meters, before slowing down a bit in the second half of the race. 

"Unfortunately, the race didn't go as I would have liked, but that can happen, and I can't let it frustrate me too much," Shirvell said. "It was still a great experience and will be useful for next year, as I'll be more prepared and familiar with meets like this."

Shirvell's remarkable record-breaking season will not end with his strong showing at the NCAA Championships, however. With his time at Regionals, Shirvell earned himself a spot at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and he has already confirmed that he will be competing in the meet.

"Right now, I just have to get prepared for USAs and hopefully have a strong last meet of the season," he said.

Shirvell will return to the track in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 20-23.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity