The men’s track team is developing a new Yale tradition of dominating the Dartmouth and Columbia dual meet. The Elis oustcored both squads this past Sunday after beating them during the 2006 season as well.
In the first meet of the season that focused on team rather than individual performances, the Bulldogs defeated their two Ivy League opponents at Coxe Cage on Sunday with a total score of 79.5 points. Dartmouth came in second with 58 points, and Columbia finished last with 42.5 points.
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The chance for each individual athlete to influence the collective team score motivated the Elis to perform well in their respective events, team members said.
“This meet was the first one where competing and beating people really mattered,” sprinter Russell Kempf ’07 said. “Everyone wanted to score points for the team and contribute to victory.”
Though track is generally thought of as an individual sport, the Bulldogs proved that a team effort is necessary in order to win. Numerous Elis placed in the top three in their events; some even finished well in multiple events.
Captain John Langhauser ’07 won the shot put with a personal best toss of 17.43 meters and placed second in the weight throw with 15.91 meters. Langhauser also came dangerously close to breaking the long-standing shot put record of 17.57 meters set by Jim Fuchs in 1950.
“I will destroy the record,” Langhauser said. “I need to work on getting more consistency in every throw I take, so I can begin to feel the throw more and understand where I have to speed something up or hit something harder to get my throw to go further.”
Langhauser attributed the victory not to his own success, but to the impressive performances of his teammates.
“Everyone did their job, and that’s why we won by such a large margin,” he said. “We expect things like Victor [Cheng ’08] winning the 60 [meter dash] and Dan [O’Brien ’08] winning the hurdles to happen at meets like this, but the consistency in their competitive performance is amazing, and we can’t take their points for granted.”
Other first place finishers included Reynolds Holmes ’10 in the long jump with a distance of 6.92 meters, Eric DePalo ’10 in the pole vault (4.50 m), Sam Fox ’09 in the high jump (2.00 m), Matthew Shaffer ’10 in the 800-meter run (1:54.63), Maxwell Brown ’10 in the 3,000-meter run (8:37.54), and the 4×400-meter relay team (3:20.79).
“This is the best Yale track team I have been on,” Langhauser said. “We have strong competitors in almost every event, and if we stay healthy and focused for the rest of this long season, we can do some serious damage in the Ivy League.”
The Bulldogs’ next meet is an invitational this Saturday in Boston, and the men’s track team is preparing to run, jump and throw fast, far and high.
“At the Terrier Classic, we’ll see a lot of good competition that we don’t normally run against,” Kempf said. “It’s a great opportunity, and it will really be telling of the team’s potential for the rest of the season.”