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Bulldogs Head to Boston for IC4As

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

11 Individuals and Three Relay Teams Eligible for Second Postseason Meet

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Coming off a strong performance at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships (Heps), the Yale men's indoor track and field team will continue with postseason competition when it travels to Boston for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships on March 8-9. The IC4A is a super-conference administered by the Eastern College Athletic Conference including schools from across the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. Athletes had the opportunity to qualify for the meet in various events by reaching certain entry standards during the course of the season. Overall, 11 Bulldogs—as well as teams in all three relay events—have qualified for this year's meet, although the Yale coaching staff has not yet finalized who will be competing in which events this weekend. Stakes are a bit higher this year than in years past, as, for the first time, athletes that place in the top six in certain events at the indoor IC4As will automatically qualify for spots at the outdoor IC4As in May.

One runner to keep an eye on this weekend will be sophomore standout Kevin Dooney, who enters the IC4As with the fifth-fastest 5,000-meter time among all athletes eligible for the meet—a 13:50.17 (adjusted from his actual time of 13:59.06 due to track sizing considerations) he ran at Heps last weekend. Dooney placed third in the race. His impressive time was not only a personal record, but a Yale school record as well. Given the times Dooney has registered in various events during the course of the season, Dooney is eligible to compete in the mile and 3,000-meter runs, in addition to the 5,000-meter event. He figures to compete in either the 5,000-meters or 3,000-meters—an event in which he placed ninth at last year's IC4As.

Dooney is one of three Bulldogs to be eligible for three different events this weekend. Freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre—who has been Yale's star performer for most of the season—qualified in the 60-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. The 400-meters has been Alexandre's best event this season, as he fell just two-hundredths of a second shy of tying Yale's all-time record in the event at the Terrier Invitational and earned second team All-Ivy honors by finishing second in the event at Heps last weekend.

Freshman James Randon has also demonstrated his versatility this season, qualifying in the 1,000-meter, mile and 3,000-meter runs. Randon's top performance of the season came last weekend, when he placed fourth in the 1,000-meter run finals at Heps despite competing in the event for the first time at the collegiate level. Randon currently holds the 21st-fastest 1,000-meter time among all those eligible to compete in the event at the IC4As this weekend.

Senior James Shirvell is eligible to compete in both the 800-meter and mile run events, although he figures to focus on the mile. Shirvell—coming off a fifth-place finish in the mile at Heps—broke Yale's school record in the mile earlier this season, and, if he were to approach his record time of 4:00.54 this weekend, he would likely place highly. The team captain placed 29th in the 800-meter run at last year's indoor IC4As.

Also eligible in two events is senior Dana Lindberg, the veteran long jumper and short sprinter. Lindberg has regularly competed in the long jump throughout the season, placing first at the Columbia-Dartmouth-Yale meet and Giegengack Invitational. And despite running the 60-meter dash more frequently than the 200-meters, Lindberg actually qualified in the longer event thanks to the 21.92 he ran at the Terrier Invitational back in January.

The Elis' only other qualifier in the field events is pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan. The sophomore has enjoyed a remarkable season, hitting the mark of 15'9" (4.80m) or above at all seven meets in which he has competed—made all the more impressive by the fact that his personal record coming into the season was 15'5" (4.70m). Sullivan enters the weekend with the 13th-highest season-best mark of all qualified pole vaulters and will be seeking a top-tier IC4As finish in just his second collegiate season.

Apart from Alexandre and Lindberg, the Elis' remaining qualifiers in the sprints are senior short sprinter Daniel Jones and junior long sprinter William Rowe. Like Lindberg, Jones has concentrated in the 60-meter dash for most of the season but has qualified only for the 200-meters. His season-best time of 22.21 (adjusted from his actual time of 22.60 due to track sizing considerations) beat the IC4A qualifying mark by just three-hundredths of a second. Rowe, meanwhile excelled when it mattered most, placing second overall with a personal record time of 1:04.83 against Harvard and Princeton a few weeks ago—doing just enough to qualify for the IC4As.

Joining Dooney and Randon as distance-event qualifiers are sophomore Alex Conner and junior Isa Qasim. Qasim is qualified in two separate events: he beat the IC4A qualifying time in the 3,000-meters by 1.60 seconds against Harvard and Princeton in mid-February before meeting the 5,000-meter IC4A mark at Heps just last weekend. Conner, for his part, has competed at only three meets during the indoor track season after enjoying a strong 2013 cross country season, but he managed to qualify for the IC4As by running a strong 5,000-meter race at Heps, placing 16th overall.

The Elis' final qualifier for this weekend's meet is freshman Andre Ivankovic, who secured his spot with an 11th-place finish in the mile run at Heps. Ivankovic is a member of the cross country team but has competed exclusively in middle-distance events for the track team during the indoor season.

The Bulldogs are also eligible to enter teams in any or all of the three relay events. Based on results during the season, the 4x400 meter relay seems to be Yale's best event among the three. The foursome of Alexandre, Lindberg, Rowe and junior Dylan Hurley has put together some solid performances, including a 3:15.30 at the Terrier Invitational. The Bulldogs have entered a wider variety of teams in the 4x800 meter relay, but some combination of Ivankovic, Randon, Shirvell, junior Michael Grace, sophomore John Mahoney and junior Alexander McDonald figures to compete. The Elis have less experience running the distance medley relay this season, and it remains to be seen who will take to the track in the event. Yale does have a recent history of success in the event, however, entering a team that placed first in prelims and fifth in finals in the distance medley relay at last year's IC4As.

The Bulldogs will begin IC4A action on Saturday, which will witness preliminary rounds in most track events, final rounds in a few field events and the final round of the 5,000-meters. Sunday's festivities will include the final rounds of all remaining events. A full schedule of events is available here, and results will be available on at the conclusion of both Saturday and Sunday's events.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity