The men’s and women’s track teams ran up a sizeable list of accomplishments this weekend, finishing with a new school record and an NCAA provisional qualifying time.
Aiming to set a strong tone early in the season, the Elis traveled to Boston University to compete in the Terrier Classic. The first away meet of the indoor season brought new and challenging competition, but the Bulldogs came out with numerous top finishes.
“We had some really good performances across the board,” sprinter Brandon Giles ’09 said. “The Terrier Classic is a big invitational on a very fast track, so it was a great situation for running fast.”
Giles ran the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.83, beating the previous school record of 21.98, which Calvin Anderson ’93 held for the past 14 years. Such results in just the fourth meet of the season hints at even more promising results to come later on, Giles said.
“It’s really exciting to have gotten the record this early in the season, because although we’re trying to go out and run fast at these meets, we’re still heavy into our training,” he said. “We’re a little sore and tired coming into these meets, and everyone should be running faster as the season progresses.”
Because it was an invitational meet with numerous opponents, the Bulldogs were able to focus more upon individual times and goals. Distance runner Jake Gallagher ’09 won the 5,000-meter run (14:23.20), and captain John Langhauser ’07 won the shot put with a throw of 17.06 meters.
“There was no team scoring at this meet, which provided everyone the opportunity to compete for themselves and try to attain personal best performances rather than focus on placing,” Gallagher said. “This meet provided us with some deep fields and stiff competition comparable to what we’ll face this upcoming meet.”
As Giles was breaking a record for the men’s team, distance runner Lindsay Donaldson ’08 was finishing with an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 3,000-meter run (9:28.42). Though elated by her own results and those of the team, Donaldson still hopes for improvement in upcoming meets.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Donaldson said, “but the overall experience from the weekend was positive.”
Other top finishes include a second place time by the 4×400 relay team (3:54.45) and a fourth place finish in the pole vault by Ashley Nolet ’07. Sprinter Katrina Castille ’07 also had an impressive showing, placing third in the 55-meter dash (7.16) and third in the 200-meter dash (25.30).
“We ran against a lot of competition, and everyone stepped up to the challenge,” Castille said. “We performed like true competitors this weekend, and this should prepare us for this upcoming meet since the level of competition should be about the same.”
Though traveling to Boston forced the Bulldogs to adjust to a new track, the change of locale was much enjoyed, athletes said.
“I prefer traveling for meets as opposed to staying here, mostly because we get to take a step away from the distractions of a weekend at Yale, and we can really focus on what we need to get done at the meets,” Giles said.
The away meet demanded concentration on the track and helped to improve the team dynamic, women’s captain Katie Dlesk ’07 said.
“Being in a more unfamiliar place together brings you all closer,” she said. “You have to make sure you cheer for each other because there is no one else who is going to.”
With the first away meet under their belts, the men’s and women’s track teams are already running toward their next finish line in the Geigengack Invitational to be held this weekend at Coxe Cage.