Yale Wraps Up Sam Howell Invitational in Solid Form
PRINCETON, N.J.—After having just six of its members compete on Friday, the Yale men's track and field team was in full force on the second and final day of Princeton's Sam Howell Invitational on Saturday. The Bulldogs encountered a wide range of competition at the meet, including all seven of their Ivy League rivals.
The highlight of the day was the Elis' performance in the 4x400 meter relay, where the team of freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre, freshman Chandler Crusan, junior Dylan Hurley and junior William Rowe finished fourth with a time of 3:19.65. The strong showing did not come as much of a surprise, as all four athletes competed in the event during the indoor season. Although the foursome of Alexandre, Hurley, Rowe and senior Dana Lindberg represented Yale in the relay for most of the indoor season, Crusan ran in the event at the indoor IC4A Championships and competed in lieu of Lindberg (who did not enter any events this weekend) on Saturday.
In addition to running as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team, Rowe also competed individually in the 400-meter hurdles. After finishing 12th with a time of 54.71 at the Shamrock Invitational two weekends ago, Rowe (55.01) placed ninth in the event on Saturday. In the shorter 110-meter hurdles, freshman Austin Loewen (15.77) eked out a 24th-place finish over junior Daniel Kemp (16.05). Loewen improved his time from two weekends ago by just more than two-tenths of a second.
Alexander McDonald, meanwhile, turned some heads on Saturday, continuing his strong sophomore season with a 10th-place finish in the 800-meter run. His time of 1:53.50 was the Elis' best of the day in the event. Freshmen James Randon (1:55.67) and Andre Ivankovic (1:57.46)—who excelled in the 1,500-meter "elite race" on Friday—also ran in the 800-meters on Saturday, placing 19th and 33rd, respectively. Junior Michael Grace (1:59.67) and freshman Tim Cox (2:02.09), meanwhile, rounded out the Elis' 800-meter squad.
In Saturday's other middle-distance event—the 1,500-meter "open race"—the Elis entered a slew of strong runners. Junior Jacob Sandry (4:01.79) led the way, finishing ninth overall in his first official collegiate competition since the 2012 cross country season. With his solid performance, Sandry showed flashes of the athlete who ran an impressive 1,500-meter personal record time of 3:50.96 at another Princeton meet—the Larry Ellis Invitational—two years ago. Not far behind Sandry were sophomores John Mahoney (18th – 4:04.60) and Max Payson (28th – 4:06.88), both of whom were very active in the 800-meter and 1,000-meter runs during the indoor season. Meanwhile, freshman Ryan Douglas (38th – 4:11.24), junior Matt Nussbaum (39th – 4:12.16), senior Michele Gama Sosa (41st – 4:14.37) and freshman David Hatch (43rd – 4:15.52) all finished in a close pack for the Bulldogs as well.
Seniors Daniel Jones and Nnamdi Udeh represented the Elis in the short sprints. Jones finished fifth in his heat and 21st overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.24, while placing 16th with a time of 22.37 in the 200-meter event. Udeh, for his part, ran the 200-meter dash in 22.63, finishing in 28th place.
In the 400-meter sprint, meanwhile, it was junior Mario Kranjac leading the charge for the second consecutive meet. Despite finishing more than one second slower than his time in the outdoor season opener, Kranjac (40th – 52.06) still finished tops among Yale runners. He barely edged out Crusan (45th – 52.45), who also finished right behind Kranjac in the outdoor season opener.
Finally, the Elis also entered a group in the 4x100 meter relay. The team of junior Andrew Goble, freshman Torren Peebles, sophomore Martin Tolentino and senior Clifford Van Meter finished in 13th place with a time of 44.10.
Despite being an unscored meet, the Sam Howell Invitational pitted Yale against a deep and tough field of regional competition and served as a transition into the Bulldogs' competitive outdoor meets. The Elis will take on Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., on Apr. 12 before hosting the Mark Young Invitational on Apr. 19.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity