TRACK | Elis struggle at Heps

Despite valiant efforts in their last indoor meet of the season, both the men and women’s track teams finished in last place at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in Ithaca, N.Y., this weekend.

The men finished their first day of competition on Saturday with five team points, good for fifth place. This was in large part thanks to Timothy Hillas ’13, who secured four points for the Elis with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:16.10.

Mike Levine ’13 contributed another point on Saturday. He took sixth in the weight throw with a season-best 17.35 meters. While Levine was disappointed with both his individual performance and the Bulldogs’ standing, he also said he thinks the team will improve in its upcoming outdoor competition, which will begin after spring break.

“I definitely feel like I should have thrown farther than I did,” Levine said. “Personally I am looking forward to throwing my main event again, the discus, which is not contested indoor. Our team is much better suited for outdoor as we have returning high scorers in the 200m, steeplechase and discus, all of which are not contested indoors.”

Captain Matthew Bieszard ’12, who matched his previous peformance against Harvard and Princeton and attained a silver medal in the 400-meter dash, highlighted the men’s second day of competition on Sunday. Bieszard’s success also earned him second team All-Ivy honors. He will compete at next week’s IC4A Championships at Boston University with a qualifying time of 48.40 seconds. His time is the seventh best in Bulldog history.

Bieszard said he was pleased by his performance. “I went into the meet with the intention of winning and came out with a PR and some silverware. I stuck it to my competitors on the first lap of the finals and made them beat me. Only one succeeded.”

The Elis middle distance relay team consiting of John McGowan ’15, Clifford Van Meter ’14, Charlie Jaeger ’12 and Timothy Hillas ’13 also found success, placing fifth and also qualifying for the IC4A Championships. The 4 x 400 meter relay team also captured sixth. The Bulldogs finished the meet with 16 team points, which placed them in eighth place. Princeton won the meet with 184 team points.

Like the men, the women’s track and field team placed at the bottom of the standings in eighth place among its eight Ivy League competitors. However, the event was marked by a few promising individual highlights.

Amanda Snajder ’14 scored the only team points on Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the pentathlon. Day two of the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships fared better for the Elis and was capped off by impressive finishes by Nihal Kayali ’13 and Annelies Gamble ’13. Kayali placed fifth in a highly contested one-mile run with a time of 4:49.96. She improved her personal best by almost a second.

“Overall I was happy with the way I executed my race and I’m thrilled to have some hardware to show for it,” Kayali said. “We need to refocus our efforts on developing depth within our squad so that when one person underperforms or gets injured we have bodies to step up and perform in those positions. At the time being, we lack that depth, and it showed this past weekend,” she added.

Gamble had the only podium finish for both the men and women’s squad at the invitational. She placed third in the 800-meter run, which contributed six points to the team’s total.

“I kept getting boxed in but by the last stretch, I was able to pull away, and it was just a mad kick to the finish,” Gamble said. She added that her third-place finish has made her even more eager to start the outdoor season.

A select group of Elis will compete next week at the IC4A Indoor Track and Field Championships at Boston University.

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