For the men’s and women’s track teams, Valentine’s Day was less about chocolate roses and more about taking on Ivy League rivals Harvard and Princeton.
The men took home a second place finish while the women placed third on Saturday in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, held this year at Harvard’s Gordon Track Center. The meet was Yale’s first time facing either Ivy League competitor this season.
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After a strong showing in last week’s Giegengack Invitational, the men’s track team continued to build momentum heading into competition on Saturday. Although the team did not outpace Princeton, they managed to place second over Harvard with a total of 55 points.
Overall, the men’s team was able to place athletes within the top three in 14 of the 16 events. One of the bigger events for the Bulldogs during the weekend was the 60-meter dash, in which Yale placed three runners in the top 10 — including a first place finish by captain Brandon Giles ’09, who won with a time of 6.87 seconds.
The Bulldogs also performed exceptionally well in the men’s long jump, in which Reynolds Holmes ’10 placed first with a 6.81 meters and Stephen Paquin ’11 placed second at 6.74 meters.
Despite the strong showing, the Bulldogs were not able to win enough points to place above Princeton; however, with the second place finish behind them, the Bulldogs now have their sights set on success at the Heptagonal Championships on Feb. 28.
“This week we have focused on what we call taper-off practices, during which we have faster workouts and try to focus on mechanics,” George Cook ’12 said. “We are trying to focus on winning, anything can happen.”
The women’s track team was also trying to build off momentum from the Giegengack Invitational, but the lady Bulldogs had a tough time over the weekend, placing third at the H-Y-P meet.
Despite some sicknesses and injuries that plagued the women’s team over the weekend, there were still plenty of strong finishes. Kate Grace ’11 won the women’s team’s sole first play finish over the weekend in the 800-meter run with a time of 4:52.07, a new personal best. The women’s team also finished the weekend with two second place finishes from Emily Standish ’11 in the women’s high jump and Stephanie Scaramella ’11 in the weight throw.
“I feel as though some of the girls might have let the hype of playing Harvard get into their heads,” Gabriella Kelly ’12 said. “But I feel like it was a great moment for a lot of the new girls to learn the track and the competition.”
Both the men’s and women’s track teams will be looking to post better results against Ivy League rivals at the Heptagonal Championships next week in Cambridge, Mass.
“These next two weeks are really going to be about getting sharp, feeling rested and getting healthy,” Jen Lin ’09, the women’s captain, said.