TRACK | Track teams preparing for Harvard-Yale meet

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Photo by David Demres.

The men’s and women’s teams split up Saturday to compete in two different races in preparation for next weekend’s Harvard-Yale meet. The women traveled to Philadelphia to face Penn and Princeton, where they finished last of the three teams. The men participated in the UConn Husky Invitational, which was largely unscored.

Princeton won the women’s meet with 106 points, while Penn finished with 67 and Yale finished with 28. Though Yale scored points in 12 of the 19 events, the Bulldogs had a smaller team than their rivals. The Tigers held a majority of participants in eight events; Yale was a majority in only discus and hammer throw (and took fourth in both).

In her first meet of the outdoor season, Kate Grace ’11 took first in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:23.21. Even though Grace had been sick for the last week and had not competed in a meet for three weeks, that did not stop her from breaking the school record.

“It was not the best place to start off confidence-wise,” Grace said. “I didn’t feel like I was on my game. It was a tough haul, but it was that much more worthwhile in the end. I’m excited about what I can do when I’m back on my game.”

Off the field, the Bulldogs boasted consistently strong performances. Emily Anderberg ’13 placed second in the javelin, and Emily Standish ’11 took fourth in the high jump. Stephanie Scaramella ’11 scored three times for the Elis, placing fourth in the discus, hammer throw and shot put.

Following Grace in the 1,500-meter were Nihal Kayali ’13, Sarah Barry ’14 and Jacque Sahlberg ’13, who placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. In addition, Anne Lovelace ’12, in her outdoor debut, took second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:58.67. Annelies Gamble ’13 finished second in the 800-meter with a time of 2:10.45, setting a new personal record. Finally, Melissa Chapman ’14 made it into the Yale record books, boasting the 10th-fastest 3,000-meter time (9:36.68) in Bulldog history. She placed third in the event. Elizabeth Marvin ’13 followed just after, taking fifth place in 9:42.28.

“We’re continuing to get everyone up to competition level,” Grace said. “We’re still training and that shows in the events. We’re not at our peak performance yet. I’m looking forward to showing our true potential.”

At the UConn Husky Invitational, the men faced eight schools, including Brown, as well as several running clubs and other unaffiliated racers. The only scored race was the steeplechase, in which there were no participating Bulldogs.

“It wasn’t a scored meet, so we were pretty much competing against ourselves,” Nathan Molina ’11 said. “We wanted to make sure we were in the best shape we could be in.”

The Bulldogs brought a small team to the meet. In eight of 19 events, there were no Elis competing. Many distance runners were taking the meet off in preparation for Harvard-Yale next weekend. In addition, the Bulldogs do not have any hurdlers.

In the 100-meter, men’s captain Marty Evans ’11 placed fifth in 10.91, while Molina took 10th in 11.14 out of 44 racers. Both times were IC4A-qualifying. The Bulldogs also qualified for the IC4A Championships in the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays, in which they took third and fourth, respectively.

Michael Levine ’13 set a personal record in the discus, placing fourth overall (52.02 meters). The jumpers also had a good day, with Dana Lindberg ’14 taking second in the long jump and Samba Binagi ’11 placing third in the triple jump.

“When you have a good performance, you know what you’re capable of doing, and you just have to take it one step at a time from there,” Molina said.

Next weekend, the men’s and women’s team will be competing at the Dewitt-Cuyler Track at Yale to host the annual Harvard-Yale track and field meet. The Yale men’s team has won the meet every year since 2003, while the women have not won since 2007.

“The past couple of years, they’ve been improving their team and so have we,” Molina said. “We need good performances from everyone in the team, but we have confidence in our ability to win.”

In addition to addressing the age-old rivalry, the meet will be important for determining who will compete for the Naughton Trophy this summer. Every two years, a joint Harvard-Yale track delegation takes on racers from Oxford and Cambridge in the world’s oldest continuing international intercollegiate competition. The top few athletes in each event next week will have the opportunity to cross the pond and compete against their British peers.

“The idea is to try to get as many blue jerseys on that trip to England as possible,” Evans said. “I’m looking at it one week at a time.”

Evans encouraged students to attend the meet, which will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Students can take a bus to the IM fields from Payne-Whitney Gym. No tickets are required.

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