January 16, 2014

Elis Prepare to Face Columbia and Dartmouth in Annual Meet

First Scored Meet of Season Pits Yale Against Ivy League Rivals

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's indoor track and field team will be seeking to build on its success from its first two meets of the season when it opens Ivy League competition at the annual Columbia-Dartmouth-Yale tri-meet in Hanover, N.H., this Saturday. The Bulldogs have a history of success at the meet—having placed first at the competition for five consecutive years between 2005 and 2009—but have placed second in three of the past four seasons.

When the Elis take to the track on Saturday, one runner to watch will be freshman sprinter Marc-Andre Alexandre. Alexandre has started his college career in impressive fashion, registering two second-place finishes in the 60-meter dash and a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash during his first two collegiate meets.

Apart from Alexandre, several other Elis—including seniors Daniel Jones and Nnamdi Udeh—have found success in the short sprints this season. Jones has had an especially strong start to his season, placing in the top three in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes in the Yale Season Opener in December and being one of only two Bulldogs (the other being Alexandre) to qualify for the final round in the 60-meter dash at the Yale Invitational on Jan. 11. Jones will be seeking to repeat his brilliant performance at last year's tri-meet, where he placed second in both short sprint events.

Udeh and juniors Dylan Hurley and William Rowe figure to lead Yale in the longer sprint events. Hurley and Rowe finished third in the 500-meter and 400-meter dashes, respectively, at last year's Columbia-Dartmouth-Yale meet and both have run well in the early parts of this season.

Meanwhile, the trio of junior Daniel Kemp, freshman Austin Loewen and freshman Torren Peebles should continue to represent the Elis in the 60-meter hurdles. Loewen led the way in the opener, placing fourth overall, but Peebles ran the best time for the team in the event this season (8.68) to take 12th place in prelims at the Yale Invitational.

Senior team captain James Shirvell headlines the Bulldogs' strong crew of middle-distance runners. Shirvell—who competed at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships last year—already has a first-place mile run performance and a second-place 800-meter run showing under his belt this season. Junior Michael Grace—who set his 1,000-meter personal record in the opener—is another middle-distance runner to watch this Saturday, as are sophomore John Mahoney, junior John McGowan and freshman James Randon. McGowan placed second in the mile run at last year's tri-meet and ran a strong cross country season this fall, but has yet to compete during this year's indoor track and field season.

Competing in the longest race of the day—the 3,000-meter run—should be some collection of Yale's deep group of distance runners. At the Yale Invitational, junior Isa Qasim, sophomore Duncan Tomlin, junior Alec Borsook and freshman Dan Grosvenor placed second, sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively, in the event. Saturday's group of runners, however, could also include some of the Bulldogs' other top cross country runners who have yet to compete during the track and field season: namely, sophomore Alex Conner, sophomore Kevin Dooney and junior Matt Nussbaum. Dooney placed second in the event as a freshman at last year's tri-meet.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are likely to enter some combination of Alexandre, Hurley, Jones, Rowe and Udeh as their top squad in the 4x400 meter relay, while Yale's top 4x800-meter relay team figures to include some grouping of the team's middle-distance runners. The Elis have not entered a team in a 4x800 meter relay yet this season, but Grace, McGowan and Shirvell typically formed the core of Yale's top 4x800 meter squad last season.

Finally, in the field events, Brendan Sullivan will be aiming to continue his remarkable sophomore season in the pole vault. By recording marks of 15'9" (4.80m) in the first two meets of the season, Sullivan has now registered the fifth-best pole vaulting personal record in Yale history—a mark he shares with his injured teammate, senior Paul Chandler. For his part, senior Dana Lindberg will hope to match his first-place finish in the long jump at last year's tri-meet. He has placed second and fourth in the event in this season's first two meets. Senior John Oppenheimer and freshman Luke Persichetti figure to represent the Bulldogs in the shot put, and one or both of those athletes could also compete in the weight throw.

Saturday's action begins at 11:00 a.m. with the long jump and concludes around 3:00 p.m. with the 4x400 meter relay. A schedule of events is available here. Full results will be available on www.yalebulldogs.com following the end of the meet.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity

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