Bulldogs Run Well at First Day of Giegengack Invitational

Liya Assefa. (photo by Forrest Temple, Yale Sports Publicity)
Liya Assefa. (photo by Forrest Temple, Yale Sports Publicity)

Distance Medley Relay Team Finishes First


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale hosted the first part of the annual Giegengack Invitational on Friday night. Over a dozen schools gathered at Coxe Cage to watch the preliminary events of the weekend. The highlight for the women was a decisive win by the Bulldogs in the distance medley relay.

Junior Kate Grace led off the relay with the 1200-meter leg, drawing away from the rest of the runners after two laps. She finished in about 3:28, far ahead of the rest of the pack, and passed the baton to senior Claudia Duncan, who ran her stretch of 400 meters in only 56 seconds. Next was freshman Annalies Gamble, with finished the 800-meter leg in approximately 2:15. Junior Liya Assefa finished off the relay with the longest stretch: the 1600-meter leg, running consistently to bring the team's time to 11:47.22 and beat the nearest team by two seconds.

That's good enough to qualify for the ECACs. Coach Mark Young ‘68, the Mark T. Young ‘68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, said: "It was a good race. Grace ran well even though she was by herself up front. They all did a good job, but Liya Assefa probably showed the most improvement to get to what she did today."

Bulldogs also competed in the 200-meter dash; sophomore Marieme Mbaye finished in 26.09 for eleventh place.

During Friday's field events, junior Emily Standish placed third in the high jump with a height of 1.60m. Junior Eve King tied for seventh in the event at 1.55m. In the long jump, freshman Adele Jackson-Gibson ended up fourth, with a distance of 5.56m. This is a big improvement over her last performance of 5.44m, but hasn't reached her personal record yet.

Competition begins Saturday morning begin at 9:30 a.m. with the shot put, and running events commence at 11:50 a.m. with the 3,000-meter run. Competition will continue until 5:40 p.m., when the 4x400 meter relay will close the day. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

Fans can take a bus to Coxe Cage from Payne Whitney Gymnasium every 30 minutes (the schedule can be found here). Results will be posted on YaleBulldogs.com and CoolRunning.com at the end of the day.

Report by Kyle Eichner '12, Yale Sports Publicity


The Giegengack Invitational 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.