This Saturday, there was no love between two old rivals — only a desire to crush the other.
On Valentine’s Day, the men’s track and field team traveled to Cambridge for a dual meet against Harvard. Because of many individual bests and victories, the Elis resoundingly defeated the Crimson 83-51. Events won by the Bulldogs included the 60-, 400- and 500-meter dashes, the 800-, 1000- and 3000-meter runs, the 60-meter hurdles, the 4 x 400-meter relay, the pole vault and the weight throw.
One of the winners at Cambridge was Russ Kempf ’07, one of the fastest Elis on the track. Kempf placed first in the 60-meter dash, a race that is five meters longer than the event he normally runs. Kempf finished with a time of 6.99 seconds, setting a new school record for the event. He said he was happy to win after coming off of a disappointing finish versus Cornell.
“[Saturday] I felt good,” Kempf said. “I went out with the mindset to win, so I was more relaxed and more confident.”
Omari Douglas-Hall ’07 also scored in the 60-meter dash, placing third with a time of 7.23 seconds.
In the 400-meter dash, Elis swept first through fourth places. Kevin Alexander ’06 finished first with a time of 49.62 seconds, followed closely by Shomari Taylor ’06, Simon Lim ’07 and Will Jordan ’05. Alexander said he was excited about attaining a new personal best in the race.
“I was more relaxed than I had been in previous races,” Alexander said. “I went out for the lead early and maintained it, which I think is a good strategy for the 400.”
Alexander added that he felt great knowing that his finish would help the team in the long run.
The Elis showed depth in the longer sprints and middle distance events as well. In the 500, Rob DeLaski ’06 won, followed by Mike Brown ’06. In the 800, Bulldogs swept the medals with Matt Boshart ’06, Mark Falco ’06 and Nate Clute ’07 coming in one-two-three. Captain Rob Lobue ’04 won the 1000-meter with a time of 2:25.84 and teammate Brian Gertzen ’07 finished third.
In the distance events, the Elis dominated again. In the mile, Josh Yelsey ’05 recorded a time of 4:09.84, narrowly losing to Alisdair McLean-Foreman of Harvard. Another sweep, though, occurred in the 3000-meter run. Patrick Dantzer ’06 had a golden race. He was trailed by Casey Moriarty ’05, David Napper ’07 and Luke Meyer ’05.
Despite not being the focus of the day, the Elis’ field corps performed well enough to nullify possible gains from its deeper Harvard counterpart. Jihad Beauchman ’06 finished second in both the high jump and the triple jump. In the weight throw, Eoghan O’Dwyer ’04 finished first. In the pole vault, Jordan Chapman ’05 and Matt Lachman ’07, who had a hamstring injury, tied for first.
Chapman said he was personally disappointed with his performance but glad that he contributed to the team’s victory.
“I felt good at first, but at the end couldn’t put together a good vault,” Chapman said. “It was definitely nice, though, to not lose by a lot or have the scores be close for the first time in a couple of years. It was a very different atmosphere.”
Friday night, the Bulldogs sent a distance medley relay team to the Armory in New York for the New Balance Invitational. This relay squad — consisting of Bobby Dwyer ’04, DeLaski, Lobue and Yelsey — broke the school record by nearly three seconds with a time of 9:44.83 and acquired provisional qualification for NCAAs.