Bulldogs Host Giegengack Invitational This Weekend

The legendary Yale Track & Field coach, Bob Giegengack
The legendary Yale Track & Field coach, Bob Giegengack

Jan. 31, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This Friday and Saturday, teams from around the Northeast region will travel to New Haven to compete against the Bulldogs at the Giegengack Invitational, held at Coxe Cage and on the Frank Shorter '69 indoor track. This team invitational, named for the legendary Yale coach Bob Giegengack, will include national caliber competition. This could be a driving force for the Bulldogs to earn more qualifying marks across the board. Coming off a successful weekend at the Boston University Terrier Invitational, the Elis are in prime position to continue lowering times and raising marks as the team enters a stretch of challenging meets leading up the Heptagonal Championships next month.

Last year, the meet produced 81 IC4A-qualifying marks and 5 NCAA provisional-qualifying marks, including a record-breaking throw by former track captain John Langhauser `07 in the shot put. Langhauser's winning throw of 17.88m broke Jim Fuch's 57-year old school record in the event.

Another highlight of the meet was Yale's narrow win the Distance Medley relay. Anchored by junior Jake Gallagher, the Elis edged out Georgetown by less than two tenths of a second to take first with a time of 9:54.82.

The Distance Medley relay should prove to be an exciting race once again, as well as the 4x400 meter relay. The pole vault could also be an event to watch for the Bulldogs, with sophomore Eric DePalo seemingly within reach of the meet record. In 2007, DePalo vaulted a personal best of 4.80m to place third at the meet while setting a new Yale freshman record. Last weekend, DePalo took the competition to another level with a win at the Boston University Terrier Invitational. His winning mark of 5.00m matches the Giegengack record, set last year by UPenn's Anthony Abitante.

In addition to DePalo, six Bulldogs have already earned qualifying marks for the IC4A Championships: seniors Victor Cheng (60m, 200m), Dan O'Brien (60h) and Christopher Smitson (1,000m), and juniors Jeffrey Lachman (weight throw, shot put), Jake Gallagher (3,000m) and Murat Kayali (5,000m). All three of Yale's relays have also qualified. These members of the team could be key contributors to the Bulldogs' success this weekend.

Events will begin at 6:00pm on Friday, and will include the weight throw, high jump, long jump 5000m run, 200m dash, and distance medley relay. On Saturday, field events will start at 9:30am, and running events will follow at 12:30pm. For a complete schedule, click here. Results will be posted on www.yalebulldogs.com at the conclusion of the meet.

Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity

This meet is named in honor of legendary Yale Track and Field Coach Bob Giegengack. In his 29 years at Yale, the USA Track and Field hall-of-famer led the Elis to 183 victories, four IC4A titles, and 13 outdoor and four indoor Heptagonal championships. Teacher, coach, philosopher, tireless storyteller, and international leader in track and field, Bob Giegengack spent more than 40 fruitful, exciting years in a career he loved. Helping talented young people to excel, both in their sport and in their studies, met his highest ideals. He trained his athletes, encouraged them, and taught them strategies for success, always with the goal of mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body. From each athlete, he demanded the best effort possible, not just for the sake of individual achievement, but also for the good of the team. Beginning with his high school students at Brooklyn Prep, then at Fordham and Yale, and as an Olympic coach in Melbourne (1956) and Tokyo (1964), "Gieg" worked to fulfill his personal ideals as a teacher, mentor, and competitor. After his retirement in 1976, he coached Yale's first women's team. The Giegengack legacy of talent, devotion, and high ideals lives on at Yale today.