TRACK | Tigers dominate HYP meet

In the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, held this year at the Bulldogs’ home, Coxe Cage, the Princeton men’s and women’s teams stole the show. On the men’s side, Princeton scored 114 points to Harvard’s 36 and Yale’s 19. For the women, Princeton scored 90.5, while Harvard and Yale scored 41.5 and 27, respectively. Yale finished third in the meet last year as well.

One bright spot for the Yale women’s team came in the distance races. This is all the more impressive given that Princeton is often a powerhouse in distance, according to Kate Grace ’11.

In the mile, Grace and Nihal Kayali ’13 took first and second, finishing the race with times of 4:39.52 and 4:45.04 respectively. Not only is her time very close to qualification standards for the NCAA meet in March, but Grace is now the fastest Bulldog ever to run the mile. She broke the previous Yale record by more than four seconds and the previous meet record as well. Grace said she rarely runs the mile — often using it as a means to get in shape — making her performance all the more impressive. Kayali’s time makes her the third fastest Eli miler of all time.

“Running the mile, I understood where I needed to put my focus,” Grace said. “I tapped into the mystery of running another race.”

Kayali and Grace were members of the winning 4×800 relay team. They were joined by Annalies Gamble ’13 and Sarah Barry ’14, who individually took second and fourth, respectively, in the 800. Elizabeth Marvin ’13 and Melissa Chapman ’14 had third and fourth place finishes in the 3000, proving the Bulldogs’ strength in distance.

“I felt there was a good chance of something good happening,” Grace said. “It was great to see results from practice transfer to meet day.”

Seniors Emily Standish ’11 and Stephanie Scaramella ’11 had strong performances in their last home meet. Standish took third in high jump and Scaramella placed fourth in both the shot put and weight throw. In addition, Amanda Snajder ’14 finished in fourth place in the 60 meter hurdles and Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 placed third in the 60.

In the men’s meet, the Tigers won all but two events — the 4×800 and the 500 — demonstrating their track prowess race after race. One disadvantage for the men was that they did not have any competitors in four events: high jump, triple jump, pole vault and 60 meter hurdles.

“We’re almost there,” captain Marty Evans ’11 said. “We’re better than the score reflected and what we showed at the meet.”

The Bulldogs scored in most of the events on the track. In his second time running the 500, Matt Bieszard ’12 earned a personal record, placing second with a time of 1:04.00. James Shirvell ’14 and John Van Deventer ’11 went two-three in the 1000, with times of 2:25.50 and 2:25.64, respectively. Evans called Van Deventer’s performance “very inspiring,” as Van Deventer hasn’t had much activity due to injury.

Off the track, Michael Levine ’13 had a season best distance of 17.60 in the weight throw, earning him third place overall, and David Smith ’11 and Stefan Palios ’14 each threw personal records in the weight throw.

Dana Lindberg ’14 scored for the Bulldogs in two events, with fourth place finishes in the long jump and 200. In addition, Julian Sheinbaum ’12 took fourth place in the mile, Chris Ramsey ’13 placed third in the 800, and Evans finished fourth in the 400.

“For runners, what’s important is running through the line,” Evans said. “Every single step counts. Every hundredth of a second counts.”

The meet, which took place last Saturday, was the last meet before Heptagonal Championships in two weeks. It also was the last meet at home for the current seniors.

“While I was running, I was thinking about all the memories I had and how I wanted to leave it all on the track,” Evans said. “For all the seniors, it was bittersweet.”

The Bulldogs hope their strong performances Saturday will carry over to Heps. For the next two weeks, they will go back to training and honing in on their technical skills and mental preparation.

“We’re very excited for Heps,” Evans said. “We’ve been training for this meet since July.”

The Heptagonals will take place in New York on Feb. 26 and 27.

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