Track starts winter on firm ground

The men and women’s indoor track and field teams have kicked off their seasons, but there are no wins or losses on the record books yet.

The Elis tested their skills against a few area colleges in the Yale Season Opener on Dec. 8 before taking a month-long hiatus for the holidays. The new year of competition at Coxe Cage began on Jan. 12 with the Yale Invitational, attended by around 20 schools. Both the Yale Season Opener and the Yale Invitational — two unscored meets — got the Bulldogs’ seasons off to a running start.

The Eli men guarded their Cage with total dominion, winning eight events at the Yale Season Opener. The meet began with a personal-best throw by Jeffrey Lachman ’09 of 15.91m to win the shot put, garnering a second-place finish in weight throw. Fellow Eli Nathan Noll ’09 also performed well in the field events, finishing third in the weight throw and fourth in the shot put.

In the jumps, the wins just kept coming. Reynolds Holmes ’10 earned a first-place finish in the long jump, while Samuel Fox ’09 earned a win with a high jump of 2.01m. Eric DePalo ’10, who placed sixth in the high jump, returned to win the pole vault with a 4.65m finish.

But the Elis could not stop at four wins: the home team went on to double its earnings by bringing in an additional four victories in the running competitions. The final two relays were dominated by the Bulldogs’ first-place finishes, with a nearly 13-second margin separating Yale and Quinnipiac in the 4×800 race.

The women’s team also brought a strong effort to its first meet, with four event wins and eight performances ranked in the top three.

Claudia Duncan ’10 won the 500-meter dash individually and anchored the 4×400-meter relay. The tally of Bulldog wins was augmented by first-place finishes by Olakitan Awolesi ’08 and Mary Kuder ’08 in the long jump and 400-meter dash, respectively.

Despite the Elis’ strong showing at the Season Opener, a month-long break forced the athletes to take the initiative to continue their intense training on their own, Bailey Carroll ’10 said.

“The coaches just told us to get our workouts done in whatever way we could,” she said. “It’s hard for a lot of us to train, especially runners who live in New England and have to deal with the snow.”

Both the men and women’s teams had victories to cheer about when they made their 2008 debuts at the Yale Invitational.

Lachman and Fox continued the success they achieved in the Season Opener with first-place finishes in their respective events at the Invitational. Lachman recorded a new personal best of 17.00m to win the weight throw, and Fox took the top prize for his high jump of 1.99m.

The Bulldogs also had strong showings in the sprints and relays, although they were unable to recreate the double victory they achieved in the 4×400-meter and 4×800-meter relays in December. The Elis could not complete the 4×400-meter relay because of an injury, and several distance runners are still trying to cross over from cross country to track mode, men’s captain Dan O’Brien ’08 said.

The success story for the Bulldog women at the Invitational was in the relays. The “A” and “B” teams finished in first and second places, respectively (12:12:43 and 12:14:48) in the distance medley.

Both teams will travel to Hanover, N.H., to compete against Dartmouth and Columbia next weekend in their first scored Ivy League meet of the season.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    "Couldn't complete the 4x400m because of an injury" is a bit of an understatement. The reporter needs to do a bit more homework next time before writing the article, especially when the injured person is a rather significant contributor to the track team, currently holding several Yale records, and now hobbling around the Yale campus.