April 26, 2009

Bulldogs Wrap Up Penn Relays With Strong Relay Performance

April 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Bulldog men's track and field team closed out the Penn Relays on Saturday in impressive fashion, running one of the fastest times in school history in the 4x800-meter relay. The Bulldogs, who have been turning in impressive performances at the meet since Thursday, will next be hosting the Yale Springtime Invitational at Dwyer Track on Sunday.

The highlight of the third day of competition at the Penn Relays was certainly the 4x800-meter relay. The Bulldogs, who ran in the College section of the race, took second in their section in 7:25.61. This time would have been good enough to place in the top ten teams in the Championship of America section, though, which included track powerhouses such as Texas.

Each leg of the Bulldog squad ran well. Senior Jake Gallagher led the race off in a time of 1:52.1, before handing off to senior Murat Kayali, who ran the second leg in 1:51.8, followed by junior Chris Labosky in 1:51.0, with senior Jared Bell anchoring in a time of 1:50.32. The performance by the team is a large improvement over last year, when the Bulldogs won the College section in a time of 7:31.74. Bell, Gallagher and Labosky all ran on the team last year as well.

Besides being a great race based on time and placing, the Bulldogs' performance positions the team very strongly in a historical context. The time is the fastest by a team of Elis since 1991, when they ran 7:23.85. The Bulldogs are getting close to the school record as well, which was set in 1989 with a time of 7:22.61.

The team has been doing very well in the distance events at the meet. On Friday, the Bulldogs took eighth in the Championship of America section of the distance medley relay, running the fifth-fastest time (9:50.87) in school history and the fastest since 1991. Junior Jeff Perrella also performed strongly for the team in the 5,000-meter run on Thursday evening, running 14:22.62, good for eighth all-time at Yale.

The distance coach for the Bulldogs, Daniel Ireland, is pleased with the Bulldogs' performance.

"The distance medley relay and 4x800-meter relay for the men had tremendous races at Penn," Ireland said. "Both were the fastest times by a Yale team since 1991. The seniors of this group ran very well and the 4x800-meter was a great way for them to end their Penn Relays career. Columbia is the only Ivy school to run faster then our 4x800 time in the last 10 years."

The Penn Relays featured some of the toughest competition of the year and the Bulldogs gained valuable experience at the Franklin Field venue, which will host the Heptagonal Championships on May 9-10. The meet, which is known for its large number of spectators and athletes competing, lived up to its tradition this year, its 115th, with 111,720 spectators over the three days of competition.

The Bulldogs, however, are not ready to let up turning in strong performances this weekend. The team will host the Yale Springtime Invitational at Dwyer Track on Sunday. The Yale meet will get underway at 10:00 a.m. with the field events while the track events will get underway at 12:00 p.m. A full schedule is available here. Buses will be available to transport spectators between Payne Whitney Gym and the track every 15 minutes, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity