May 14, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - At the annual year-end banquet on Tuesday, coaches and athletes gathered to reflect on the 2008-2009 season. Although many athletes still have multiple competitions before finishing the season, a good portion of the team concluded the season at the Heptagonal Championships last weekend. Among those honored at the banquet were three men who have made outstanding contributions to the team: senior Jeffrey Lachman, junior Remi Ray and senior Jared Bell. The captain for next year's squad, Jeff Perrella, was also announced after a team election during the banquet.
Perrella is a relatively new face on the Yale team. After transferring to Yale from William & Mary this year, Perrella has quickly established himself as a contributor to the Bulldogs, running 8:18.44 for the 3,000-meter run, which is No. 12 all-time for Yale indoors. He later placed seventh in the event at Heps. Outdoors, Perrella ran himself onto the Yale all-time lists again, running 14:22 in the 5,000-meter run at the Penn Relays, which is the eighth-fastest time by a Bulldog outdoors.
Lachman was given the James Stack '61 Award, which is presented annually to the male track and field athlete who best personifies Jim Stack, the captain and leader of the 1961 team which won the "big three" (Yale vs. Harvard and Princeton), Heptagonal and IC4A Championships. The award recognizes the most valuable performer of the team. A qualifier for the NCAA National Championships last year, Lachman has consistently led the team with his strong performances in the throws. Recently, Lachman broke the 39-year old discus throw record set by Tem Neville by nearly ten feet. His throw of 58.29 meters (191'3") is one of the top marks in the nation. Lachman is a Heps champion in the discus throw, and has also scored in the hammer throw, shot put and weight throw.
Ray was the recipient of the Lee Calhoun Award, which is given to an outstanding member of the Men's Track and field Team who excels in Sprinting and/or Hurdling. The award is given annually in Memory of Lee Calhoun, the Yale Men's Head Track Coach from 1975-1980, who was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 110-meter hurdles. Despite struggling with injury for much of his first two years at Yale, Ray had a breakout season indoors this year, and has delivered strong performances well into the outdoor season as well. At the Boston University Terrier Invitational in January, Ray blazed to a new school record of 1:02.09 in the 500-meter dash, breaking the 1986 record of Olympian Larry Miller by over 0.3 seconds. Ray also ran on the 4x400 meter relay that ran 3:13.73, the third-fastest indoor time in Yale history. Outdoors, Ray ran on numerous successful relays once again, and also clocked 47.66 in the 400-meter dash prelims at Heps -- one of the ten best outdoor times in Yale history.
The Gardner Millett Award was given to Bell, a distance and middle-distance runner. The honor is awarded to an outstanding member of the Men's Track and field Team who excels in Sportsmanship, Courage and Inspiration, and is given annually in Memory of Gardner Millett Jr., Yale Class of 1938. Bell has established himself as a key player of Yale's team over the past few years, earning numerous spots on Yale's all-time performance lists: Bell is ranked No. 2 in the outdoor 1,500-meter run (3:44.69), No. 4 in the indoor mile run (4:05.55) and No. 10 in the indoor 3,000-meter run (8:15.31). He has also contributed as a member of many successful relays, including the 4x800-meter relay that broke the indoor school record in 2008 with a time of 7:29.53. Recently, Bell placed second in the mile run at Heps. Aside from running fast times on the track, Bell was commended for his constant commitment to Yale Track & Field, and the positive work ethic that has set an example for all other members of the team.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity