Jan. 26, 2008
BOSTON - This weekend, the Elis stepped up to tough competition at the Boston University Terrier Invitational, and the results were impressive. A first place finish in the pole vault by sophomore Eric DePalo was the highlight of a day filled with notable finishes across all event groups for the Bulldogs. DePalo shattered his former personal best height of 4.80m with a new mark of 5.00m, which gives him the #4 ranking on Yale's all-time indoor performance list in this event.
"It was a big breakthrough," head coach David Shoehalter said of DePalo's performance this weekend.
The Bulldogs were on pace for success from the start of the meet. In the first running event of the day, senior Victor Cheng placed fourth in the 55-meter dash finals with a personal best of 6.41. Cheng came back later in the day to take 7th in 200-meter dash in 22.08, also a personal best. Both of these times rank Cheng #5 on Yale's indoor all-time list and qualify him for the IC4A Championships next month.
Yale also saw success in the field events in addition to DePalo's win in the pole vault. Junior Samuel Fox was third in the high jump with a height of 1.93m, freshman Stephen Paquin placed 7th in the long jump with a mark of 6.56m, junior Jeffrey Lachman threw 15.05m in the shot put to place third, and junior Nate Noll placed 8th in the weight throw with an effort of 15.84m.
The middle-distance and distance men did not disappoint later in the day. Christopher Smitson earned a 12th place finish in the 1000 meter run with an IC4A-qualifying time of 2:29.26, a personal best for the senior. Only a second behind, senior Tadhg O'Callaghan placed 16th, just missing the IC4A mark.
This invitational was the first race of the season for most of the distance men. "We just didn't know what to expect, but for the first race of the season, I thought we competed very well," distance coach Dan Ireland said.
Junior Jake Gallagher placed 14th in 3000 meter run with an IC4A qualifying time of 8:21.07, ranking him #15 all-time for Yale. Finishing less than 10 seconds behind Gallagher, senior Joe Kingsbery missed the IC4A cutoff by a mere second, but still ran a solid personal best to place 25th in 8:30.51.
An hour later, junior Murat Kayali continued the successful streak for the Elis, running a 46 second personal best in the 5000 meter run to place sixth overall. This time qualifies Kayali for the IC4A championships, and moves him up to #8 on Yale's all-time indoor list.
In the 4x400 meter relay, the `A' team ran a season best of 3:19.52 to place 8th, squeaking in just under the IC4A qualifying time. In a good show of depth, the `B' team was only four seconds behind with a 14th place finish in 3:23.48.
Overall, coaches and athletes alike were satisfied with the results of the meet.
"I think we got what we wanted to accomplish done today," coach Shoehalter commented. "Every week, it's a progression. We want to get better every week and we have done just that. We're still not where we want to be at the end of the season, but the team is definitely headed in the right direction. Starting in February is really when we start expecting our best performances."
Instead of traveling this weekend, the Bulldogs will bring the competition to New Haven to compete at the Giegengack Invitational, held at Coxe Cage. This competitive team invitational will give the Elis another chance to earn qualifying marks, this time with the support of a home crowd. Events will take place Friday evening and all day Saturday.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity