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Ivankovic and Shirvell Record First-Place Finishes at Harvard-Yale Meet

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

Elis Set Slew of Personal Records, Fall Short Against Rival Crimson

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Competing in its third outdoor meet of the 2014 season, the Yale men's track and field team compiled some strong performances in the 111th annual Harvard-Yale meet on Saturday, despite falling to the Crimson by a score of 104 to 34. The rivalry meet between Harvard and Yale is one of the most anticipated events of each team's season, and this year's meet—held in Cambridge, Mass.—featured several of the best athletes the Ivy League has to offer.

Senior team captain James Shirvell picked up five points for the Bulldogs with his first-place finish in the 800-meter race. Shirvell has now competed in the 800-meter event at the Harvard-Yale meet for four consecutive years, placing first in each of the last two. His mark of 1:52.43 was his best time in the event since his first-place finish at last year's meet. Junior Michael Grace (1:56.28), sophomore Alexander McDonald (1:57.83) and senior John Cocco (2:04.08) also competed in the race, placing fourth, sixth and ninth, respectively.

Like Shirvell, freshman Andre Ivankovic recorded a first-place finish on Saturday, running an 8:27.34 in the 3,000-meter race and outpacing the next-fastest runner by nearly two full seconds. Saturday was Ivankovic's first time running the 3,000-meters at the collegiate level, but—coming off an impressive ninth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run at the Sam Howell Invitational last weekend—Ivankovic relatively easily added five points to Yale's tally on Saturday. Senior Ryan Laemel (8:34.32) was the next Eli to finish the event, placing fifth overall. Freshman Dan Grosvenor (9:07.13), senior Michael Cunetta (9:09.47) and freshman J.P. Meredith (9:24.76) finished 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.

Another Bulldog who ran especially well on Saturday was senior Daniel Jones. Jones set a personal record in a third-place finish in the 100-meter dash (10.85) and placed second overall in the 200-meter dash (22.18). Jones' 100-meter time was literally just fast enough to earn him a spot at the IC4A Championships later this season, as the IC4A qualification requirement is exactly a 10.85. Jones finished directly behind Harvard senior Damani Williams in both races. Williams recorded the 13th-fastest 100-meter time in the Ivy League during the 2013 season, and for Jones to keep pace with him on Saturday was an impressive feat. Junior Andrew Goble (11.39), sophomore Martin Tolentino (11.51), senior Clifford Van Meter (11.78) and junior Chen Wang (12.01) all finished behind Jones in the 100-meters, while Tolentino (23.51) and senior Nnamdi Udeh (22.45) trailed Jones in the 200-meters.

In the longer 400-meter dash, freshman Chandler Crusan (51.38) and junior Mario Kranjac (51.53) finished back-to-back in third and fourth place, respectively. Both runners have competed in the event at every outdoor meet so far this season.

The Bulldogs also achieved success in the hurdle events. Junior William Rowe (53.55) placed second in the 400-meter hurdles, setting a personal record in the process. Rowe trailed only Harvard's star hurdler, junior Jarvis Harris, who holds the fastest 110-meter hurdle time in the Ivy League this season and held the second and third fastest times in the league during his sophomore and freshman seasons, respectively. Harris competed in the 400-meter hurdles for the first time in his collegiate career on Saturday. Not surprisingly, junior Daniel Kemp (15.21) and freshman Austin Loewen (15.24) both trailed Harris in the 110-meter event. Both runners, however, set personal records and will leave the meet more than pleased with their performances. Kemp also ran the 400-meter hurdles on Saturday, finishing with a time of 58.37—another personal record.

Sophomore Duncan Tomlin, meanwhile, was the only runner from either Harvard or Yale to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and he thus earned the Bulldogs five more points. With the stress of competition largely removed, Tomlin finished the race with a time of 9:31.60—about 20 seconds slower than the personal-record time he recorded at the Stanford Invitational last weekend.

In the 1,500-meter run, it was James Randon (3:52.59) who made his presence felt. The star freshman finished just more than one second behind his personal record and placed third overall in a competitive field of 12 runners. Sophomore John Mahoney (4:01.99) finished close behind in fifth place. Freshman Ryan Douglas (4:03.13) took seventh, sophomore Max Payson (4:07.12) placed ninth, freshman David Hatch (4:11.66) finished 11th and senior Michele Gama Sosa (4:16.75) placed 12th.

Senior John Oppenheimer, freshman Torren Peebles and freshman Luke Persichetti represented the Bulldogs in the field events. Persichetti competed in both the hammer throw and shot put, recording personal record marks of 150'3" (45.81m) and 45'8" (13.92m), respectively. Oppenheimer finished behind Persichetti in the hammer throw with a measurement of 110'8" (33.74m). Meanwhile, Peebles—who normally competes in the hurdles—instead competed in the javelin throw on Saturday, finishing third with a mark of 114'10" (35.00m).

Finally, Yale also entered one team in the 4x100 meter relay and two teams in the 4x400 meter relay. The Bulldogs' squad finished second in the shorter race with a time of 43.47, while the Elis' two teams finished second and third in the longer event with times of 3:20.21 and 3:23.73.

With the Harvard-Yale meet now completed, the Bulldogs—who have not hosted a meet since February—will welcome teams to New Haven for the Mark Young Invitational on Apr. 19.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity