The beautiful weekend weather pushed both the Yale men’s and women’s track team to strong individual showings at the Sam Howell Invitational in Princeton, N.J., including another Yale record set by All-American Kate Grace ’11.
With one event win, the Yale men established a solid base for early in the season. Mike Levine ’13 led the Bulldogs in field events by placing second in the discus throw with a 50.32-meter toss. Eric Depalo ’10 placed third in the pole vault jumping 4.85-meters.
The distance runners’ performances indicated that at least one runner will compete in the IC4A’s later this season. Max Walden placed 10th in the 10,000-meter run and qualified for the IC4A’s with a time of 31:06.55, while Jake McKenzie ’12, Conor Dooney ’12 and Kevin Brown ’10 were only several seconds away from qualifying. McKenzie, the only Yale 5,000-meter competitor, placed ninth (14:37.48) while Dooney placed 12th in the 1,500-meter run with Brown coming in 14th in the same race.
Dooney said that he and Brown are focusing on the 1,500 and hope to continue to improve together after spending the year training.
“Kevin and I have been training together all year so we have a good feel for running together at this point,” Dooney said. “Kevin led the race for nearly all of it and did all the work so I’ll probably have to repay the favor next time if I get the chance.”
Chris Labosky ’10 provided the Yale men with a win in the 1,500 meter race on the second day of the Invitational in 3:56.19. Max Brown ’10 finished close behind in second with 4:01.31.
Yale’s 4 x 100-meter relay team placed second behind Princeton (41.88), but ahead of Harvard.
“Our 4 x 1 improved by .11, beating Harvard handily, which is a good omen as always,” Matt Bieszard ’12 said. “Nothing too outstanding for us but we are where we need to be at this point.”
Bieszard also said that the 4×400-relay performed well, placing third. The men next compete at the UMass Invitational this weekend.
Also competing in the Sam Howell Invitational, the women’s track team set the bar high for the remainder of the season. Kate Grace ’11 won the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:24.57 and broke a Yale record set in 1991 by S.E. Smith. Anne Lovelace ’12 also won the 3,000-steeplechase in 10:40.96. Lovelace and Grace qualified for the NCAAs and the ECACs with their performances. Alexandra Cadicamo placed fifth in the 5,000-meters, also qualifying for the ECACs in the process running 16:56.87.
The second day continued with Elis winning three additional running events. Claudia Duncan ’10 won the 400-meter dash (55.44), and Grace notched her second win of the weekend in the 800-meter run in 2:09.94. Liya Assefa won the 1,500-meter race and said that the weather and strong performances from the Yale women made the weekend a success.
“I was happy with how my 1,500 went,” Assefa said. “Stephany Reaves ‘10 took it out at a good pace and then at the half mile I picked it up and just tried to finish strong. Overall, it was a great day out for running.”
The women will return to New Jersey next weekend to face off against Penn and Princeton.