May 28, 2005

Meyer Advances to NCAA Championship in Steeplechase

May 28, 2005

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New York, N.Y. - Lucas Meyer earned a spot in the NCAA Championship in the steeplechase with a personal-record time of 8:41.37 Saturday night at the East Regional at Icahn Stadium. With the top five finishers in each event advancing, Meyer placed fourth and earned a trip to Sacramento, where competition runs from June 8-11.

"I'm very happy and very relieved," Meyer said. "I'm trying to make the most of these last few races in a Yale uniform."

The race capped a long day at the track that included a rain/lightning delay of nearly two hours shortly before the men's steeplechase was to begin. Meyer used the time wisely.

"It allowed me to relax a little bit," he said.

Noting that he felt "a little sluggish," Meyer was in sixth for much of the race but made his move in the final two laps. He finished just behind a pack of three that included winner Andy Smith of NC State (8:33.25).

"I had hoped to be able to run with those three," Meyer said. "They pulled away the last couple of laps, but hopefully at the NCAAs I'll be able to keep up with them."

Meyer's time bested his personal record by three seconds and also came close to the Yale record (8:40.13, Jim Gibson, 1988). Meyer returns to the NCAA Championships for the second time, hoping to improve on his performance last year when he collided with a barrier and finished 19th.

"I'm much stronger this year," he said. "I'm just fitter in general."

Also in action for Yale on Saturday were Josh Yelsey (10th in the 1500m run, 3:50.90) and Jihad Beauchman (22nd in the triple jump, 14.59m).

Beauchman also competed Friday, finishing sixth in the high jump at a school-record 2.11m. That kept him in the running for an at-large bid to the NCAAs, pending declarations Tuesday at 3 p.m. Shomari Taylor was Yale's fourth competitor at the meet, placing 16th in the 400m hurdles (52.33) Friday.

The Yale men ended the competition with eight points, tied for 25th.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity

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