May 7, 2009

Elis to Compete at Heptagonal Championships This Weekend

May 7, 2009

New HAVEN, Conn. - After months of hard training and competition for the Bulldogs, their track & field season is finally entering into the outdoor championships. This Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, the Bulldogs will head to Philadelphia, Pa. to compete at the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. The meet is hosted by Penn, and will be held at the historic Franklin Field, the site of the Penn Relays.

While the competition will be tough, the Bulldogs have a squad of talented athletes to challenge the best, including two returning individual champions: junior Eric DePalo in the pole vault, and senior Nathan Noll in the discus throw. Yale also returns three of four members from last year's winning 4x100-meter team, which edged out Cornell by 0.02 seconds and ran the third-fastest time in Bulldog history (40.90): sophomore Marty Evans, senior Brandon Giles, and junior Reynolds Holmes.

After finishing third the past two years at the Outdoor Heps, the Bulldogs look for another top-three finish this year.

The Bulldogs placed fourth at the Indoor Heps earlier this year, scoring 55 points. However, the added events in the outdoor season will likely give them an extra boost this weekend: Yale athletes have put up the best performances in the league for two events that are only contested outdoors.

At the Yale-Harvard dual meet two weeks ago, senior Jeffrey Lachman topped Yale's 39-year old school record in the discus throw, winning the event in a personal-best distance of 58.29 meters (191'3"). This year, Lachman's mark is the best in the Ivy League by almost 13 feet, and one of the top collegiate marks in the nation. With Noll -- defending Heps champion in the discus -- also competing, Yale should be hard to beat in this event. Lachman also currently ranks sixth in the shot put and seventh in the hammer throw in the Ivy standings.

Yale's other leader in the Ivy League is junior Ted Galligan, who recently clocked a personal-best 52.98 in the 400-meter hurdles at the Yale Springtime Invite to top the Ivy performance list for this season. Although three other competitors are close on Galligan's heels (having clocked less than two tenths of a second off of his time), Galligan has consistently performed well in his signature event at Heps, scoring both of the past two years and finishing third in the event as a freshman, and should be a contender for the title this year.

The Bulldogs also look to be very competitive across a variety of other events. Evans is currently ranked third in the 200-meter dash (21.95), and even broke into the top-ten in the 100-meter dash (10.92) after running the event for his first time in college at the Yale-Harvard meet. In the longer sprints, watch for junior Remi Ray to challenge in the 400-meter dash -- he is currently ranked fourth in the league (48.14).

In the distance events, the Bulldogs have two athletes ranked in the top-ten in the 3,000-meter steeplechase: sophomore Matt Bogdan (sixth, 9:13.91) and freshman Nathan Richards (tenth, 9:18.80). Junior Jeffrey Perrella broke into the Heps top-ten of the season in the 5,000-meter run after clocking 14:22.62 at the Penn Relays, but will move up in distance this weekend while making his first attempt at the 10,000-meter run. Seniors Jared Bell and Jake Gallagher went 2-3 in the mile run indoors, and could put up good performances in the 1,500-meter run this weekend. Bell has the third-fastest Ivy time this season (3:47.08), which is an NCAA-regional qualifying mark.

The field events should also bring in plenty of points for the Bulldogs. Already this season, senior Samuel Fox jumped 6' 10.75", which is No. 2 all-time for Yale outdoors and fourth in the league. Indoors, he placed third in the event. Other strong performers who have scored at Heps before and are currently ranked in the League's top six include DePalo (pole vault), Holmes (long jump, 100-meter dash) and senior Kevin Hickenbottom (javelin throw).

Complete previews for all Ivy teams can be found at www.HepsTrack.com.

A complete schedule can be found here. The first men's event on Saturday will be the javelin throw, which starts at 11:00 a.m. The men's running events will be held after the women, beginning with the 400-meter dash trials at 3:40 p.m.

Please note that the South Street Bridge closures may affect travel to Franklin Field. For more information, click here.

Live results will be posted on www.HepsTrack.com throughout the competition.

Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity