April 21, 2009
NEW YORK - On March 27, over 100 friends of Yale Track and Field and Cross Country gathered at the Yale Club of New York City to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the classes of 1959-1963. This group of track athletes won an amazing seven Heptagonals Championships in only five years.
Featured speakers on behalf of the honoree group were Jim Wade '59 and Olympian Wendell Mottley '64. Each spoke eloquently and fondly about his experiences while competing for the Eli and legendary coach Bob Giegengack. Mr. Wade recounted several stories of Yale Track lore, including accounts of the notable meets that coach "Gieg" entered the team and individuals in, to get them used to the "big stage" and the pressure of the major meets. Mr. Mottley also recounted several stories about his Yale track days, and ended with a fascinating account of his Olympic experience in 1964, when he earned the silver medal in the 400 meter run, while competing against his former coach and the US team.
This was a truly special evening for all, with over 25 members of the classes of '59-`64, coaches, alumni, current team members, and friends of the program all coming together in annual celebration of this storied track program. Many of the members of the '59-`63 teams also gathered in the afternoon and may have set another record for the longest lunch in the history of the Yale Club . . . over 4 hours! This is another example of the close friendships and bonds that tie this very special group together.
It was an honor and great pleasure to see such a fine group of athletes and friends together again after many years and relating to one another as if they were together only days ago. This was truly an unforgettable evening and an example to the members of the current teams in attendance of what athletics at Yale can mean to one's entire life.
Visit the Yale Track and Field Association webpage at YaleBulldogs.com