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Bulldogs Prepare to Begin Track and Field Season

Marc-Andre Alexandre. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Marc-Andre Alexandre. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Alexandre named captain for 2016-17.

NEW HAVEN, Conn.— The Yale men's track and field team will begin its season on Dec. 10, hosting the Yale Season Opener at Coxe Cage. The team returns several top members of last season's squad, along with 12 freshman recruits spread relatively evenly across various events.

Seniors Marc-Andre Alexandre and James Randon, who won the 400-meter dash and the 1500-meter dash respectively at the Ivies during the last outdoor season, look to be this season's top returners. Randon also competed in the 1500-meter dash at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships last season, placing eighth and earning First Team All-American honors for his spectacular performance. Alexandre, who finished sixth in the 400 meters at the Canadian Track and Field Championships this season, is the team's captain.

Below is a preview of the Elis' season, grouped by event:

Jumps

This year's squad of jumpers returns several key components of last year's. Because there are no seniors, the Bulldogs have an opportunity to create a core of quality athletes. Junior Mike Koller, the resident high jump specialist, looks to continue the pace of steady improvement he set last season. Koller and Carl Mansson, who competed in the triple jump and long jump last season, are the only returning upperclassmen on a relatively young set of jumpers for the Bulldogs this season. Sophomore Austin Laut, the Elis' only pole vaulter, finished 21st at the NCAA East Preliminaries last season and seventh at the USATF Junior Championships, and will be an athlete to watch. He is joined by fellow sophomores Cody Clements, CJ McCord and Jimmy Shih, and freshmen Bruno Jednacak and Spencer O'Neill.

Throws

The Elis return a small but experienced group of throwers this year. Senior Luke Persichetti, who has been a solid competitor for the team throughout his career, will likely compete in the hammer throw and weight throw this season. Sophomore Marcus Downs and junior Jake Hoops, who both set personal bests at the Ivy League Championships in their events last season, round out the Bulldogs' small but powerful set of throwers.

Distance

Senior James Randon, who finished eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season and earned Yale's first First-Team All-American honors in a decade, comes into the season with high expectations for record-setting performances in his many events, particularly the 1500-meters. He will be in a position to help train a younger set of distance runners -- sophomore Trevor Reinhart (who competed in the 1500-meters at the Ivy Outdoor Championships), and freshman recruits Jonathan Lomogda, Armstrong Noonan and Peter Ryan. The team also returns junior Cameron Stanish. Other Elis who look to make contributions to the team this season include juniors Ryan Brady, Casey Celestin and Matt Chisholm, who were all solid competitors in the 3,000 meters last season, juniors Adam Houston and Scott Meehan, and seniors Andre Ivankovic and Spike Sievert.

Middle Distance

The Bulldogs return several experienced middle distance runners this season. Senior Tim Cox and junior Schan Lartigue were both parts of the competitive 4x800 relay team last season. Senior Ryan Douglas and junior Thomas Gmur, who also competed in the 800 meters last season, will be two more leaders for the Elis on the middle distance front this year. The Elis add three freshmen recruits, who hope to contribute in both middle distance and distance events -- James Lewis, Allen Siegler and Austin Stoner.

Sprints

Senior Marc-Andre Alexandre, who finished sixth this summer in the 400-meter dash at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and won the 400 meter dash at the Ivies last season, comes into his final season with high expectations. Other returning seniors are Chandler Crusan, who will likely compete in the 800-meters, Denzell Jobson, whose events look to be the 200-meters and 500-meters, and Austin Puleo, who will likely run the 400-meters. The Elis return a core cadre of sophomores in Gregory Campbell Jr., Connor Hill and Alex McIntyre, all of whom competed as parts of the team's successful sprint relays last season, and set the school record in the 4x400-meter relay. The sprinters will welcome freshman recruits Fergal Burnett Small, Kyle Macauley, Greg Moschella and Vincent Vaughns.

Hurdles

The Elis' hurdlers this season will be led by junior Paedyn Gomes, who placed third in the 110-meter hurdles at the Ivy League Championships. Seniors Austin Loewen and Torren Peebles, who competed in sprinting and hurdling events last season, will join Gomes in rounding out the Bulldogs' hurdling squad.

Report by Olivia Paschal '18, Yale Sports Publicity