Bell and Gallagher Blaze to Regional-Qualifying Times at Bison Outdoor Classic
April 12, 2008
Lewisburg, Pa. - Though this weekend's meet was un-scored, the Bulldogs produced a number of outstanding results. After splitting the squad last weekend between two invitationals, hosted by Princeton and William & Mary, the men's team reunited to compete at the Bison Outdoor Classic hosted by Bucknell. Among the meet's highlights was senior Victor Cheng's 10.59 in the 100-meter dash on Saturday, which would have set a new Yale record had it not been for the tailwind exceeding the regulated standard. The field events showcased a win by sophomore Reynolds Holmes in the long jump, and a 1-2 sweep by juniors Jeffrey Lachman and Nathan Noll in the discus throw. Another noteworthy showing came in the 1,500-meter run, as juniors Jared Bell and Jake Gallagher qualified for the NCAA East-Regional meet next month.
The 1,500-meter run took place on Friday evening along with a handful of other events. The "invitational" section boasted a strong field, which included Nike's Matt Lincoln, formerly of Penn State. Lincoln had previously broken the four-minute mile barrier and clocked a speedy 1:48 in the 800-meter dash.
A rabbit set the pace early on, with the two juniors moving up into striking position with a lap and a half to go. In the last 500-meters, it became a battle between Bell, Gallagher and senior Steve Hallinan of American for the top spot. In the end, Bell was edged out by Hallinan, running 3:44.69 to Hallinan's 3:44.28, with Gallagher right behind in 3:46.84.
Not only did both juniors run lifetime bests (Bell's time was six seconds faster than his previous mark), but they also dipped under the regional-qualifying mark of 3:47.80, becoming the first Bulldogs this season to qualify for the meet. In fact, Bell's 3:44.69 ranks him second in the region and eleventh in the nation so far.
To sweeten the deal, Bell moved up to No. 2 on Yale's all-time outdoor performance list, and Gallagher is now No. 5.
Bell's time converts to around 4:03 for a full mile, five seconds faster than his best time during the indoor season. This improvement in the last two months is no doubt due to quality training the distance squad did throughout the indoor season.
"All the training we did during the indoor season put Jared and Jake in the position to run fast times outdoors," said distance coach Dan Ireland.
Luckily, outside factors also played to the Bulldogs' in the quest for fast times.
"The weather was perfect, and the race just went out perfect for them," Ireland added.
Momentum from Friday's successes continued on into Saturday, highlighted by Cheng running a solid 100-meter dash.
After breaking the school's 22-year old record in the 60-meter dash earlier this year, Cheng had another stellar performance yesterday, clocking 10.59 in the 100-meter dash. While his time is faster than the school record, the high wind index prevented the time from being accepted as a new Yale record.
Cheng's speedy time tied for first place, with James Bush of St. Francis also running a 10.59. Junior Brandon Giles was close behind, taking third in a formidable time of 10.69
The talented duo of Giles and Cheng went on to place third and sixth in the 200-meter dash, with times of 21.70 and 21.86, respectively. Giles' mark met the IC4A standard, building off his IC4A-qualifying mark for the 100-meter dash earlier in the day.
Yale managed to place two other runners in the top ten for the 200-meter dash, giving a total of four Yale runners in the top ten, with freshman Marty Evans placing ninth in 22.12 and Holmes nabbing tenth place in 22.24.
In the other individual running events of the day, sophomore David Soiles was fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.15, with Evans not far behind, placing sixth in 49.30. The 800-meter run saw senior Matt Bordoni finish fifth in 1:54.18, improving upon last week's performance.
Yale's 4x400-meter relay (Evans, Michael Camarda, Bordoni and Soiles) also finished in fine fashion, earning a first-place finish with a season-best 3:17.64, missing the IC4A-qualifying mark by a mere four-hundredths of a second.
A great deal of Yale's presence in the field events on Saturday came from the return of the junior duo of Lachman and Noll after placing sixth (50.01m) and tenth (48.72m), respectively, during Friday evening's competition.
The pair finished 1-2 in the discus with Lachman's throw of 51.20m and Noll's throw of 50.11m, well beyond the IC4A-qualifying mark yet again. In the shot put, Lachman placed fifth with an effort of 15.02m and Noll was seventh with 14.95m.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will face off against the Harvard Crimson in their first Ivy match-up of the outdoor season. The meet, a longstanding tradition for the two teams, will be held on Yale's home turf at Cuyler Field and the Dwyer Track this year. The track will also bring together the other Ivy teams next month for the Heptagonal Championships, hosted by Yale.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity