Teaming up with league rival Harvard, Yale’s track team took on the British duo of Oxford and Cambridge this weekend in the oldest continuous international amateur competition in the world.
The Bulldogs hosted the 42nd biennial Yale-Harvard vs. Oxford-Cambridge meet on Saturday. Using the British scoring system, the American women topped the British team 12-7, while the men lost by only one point. Together, the combined Yale and Harvard outscored Oxford and Cambridge, 21 to 17, to win the Naughton Trophy.
Women’s captain Jen Lin ’09 said seeing the Crimson in action this weekend gives them a preview of sorts for their upcoming meet on Saturday.
“We can see what is in store,” Lin said. “They didn’t race all of their best runners, and we didn’t race everyone either, but we could get a glimpse of some of what they have.”
Unlike most races in which many schools compete and can send up to several runners in each event, Saturday’s race had only two British and two American runners in each event.
On the women’s side, Bevin Peters ’09 opened the afternoon on a strong note for Yale, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal best of 10:50.48. With that time, she is only .23 second away from the NCAA regional qualifying standard.
In the 400-meter dash, Claudia Duncan ’10 added another victory for Yale and Harvard. Duncan’s win of 56.26 seconds is just over the ECAC qualifying standard. Earlier in the indoor track season, she set school records in the 500-meter dash.
Kate Grace ’11 took her 800-run outdoors for the first time this season, and notched first place for the American team. Grace’s 2:08.40 run on Saturday qualified her for the NCAA regional championships in May.
Together with Harvard’s Thea Lee and Jen Lin, Duncan and Grace also helped the Americans win the 4×400 meter relay.
For the men, Saturday’s top performers included Murat Kayali ’09 who placed first in the 1500-meter run with a time of 3:54.55.
Reynolds Holmes ’10 scored another point for the Americans when he placed first in the long jump with 7.09 meters.
The American men also won the 4×400 meter relay on the strength of three Elis – Marty Evans ‘11, David Soiles ’10, and Remi Ray ’10.
After wrapping up the cross-Atlantic meet, the women hosted Penn and Princeton on Sunday. The Bulldogs placed third behind first-place Princeton and second-place Penn.
Grace won the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.03 seconds — less than a second over ECAC qualifying standards. Lin added another win in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.56.
The men’s team also competed on Sunday, traveling to Providence, R.I., for the Brown Invitational. The Elis finished in seventh with 21 points. The hosts won the invitational with 129 points.
Both the men’s and women’s track teams will continue racing this Saturday with an away meet against Harvard.