TRACK AND FIELD | Elis struggle at Princeton

The Bulldogs scored 23 points on the men’s side and 25 on the women’s on Saturday.
The Bulldogs scored 23 points on the men’s side and 25 on the women’s on Saturday. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

As 34 inches of snow blanketed New Haven Friday and Saturday,dining hall hours were altered, libraries closed, and students kept warm inside dorms. The men’s and women’s track and field teams, however, stayed their course, traveling to Princeton to take on the Tigers and the Harvard Crimson.

The Bulldogs limped to third-place finishes against their rivals on Saturday. The Tiger men scored 88 points en route to winning the meet, while their counterparts on the women’s team amassed 79 points to carry the women’s meet. Harvard captured second with 59 points for the men’s team and 55 for the women, while Yale scored 23 points on the men’s side and 25 on the women’s to bring up the rear.

“I think it didn’t really reflect what we are capable of right now,” men’s team captain Tim Hillas ’13 said. “[But] it’s another step on the way to Ivy Championships.”

This weekend marked the Elis’ fifth straight week of competition, so the Tigers and Crimson faced a squad affected by fatigue. Hillas said the team was hit hard by the norovirus sweeping Yale’s campus, knocking five Bulldog runners in both the men’s and women’s teams out of the meet and leaving another group of athletes recovering from the virus. Both factors left Yale at less than full strength.

Still, several Eli athletes managed to post impressive results. Bulldog men swept the first two spots of the pole vault, amassing eight points in the process. Paul Chandler ’14 placed first, besting his personal record with a vault of 4.80m. Teammate Brendan Sullivan ’16 finished close behind with a vault of 4.65m, 0.15m more than the two Princeton vaulters and one Cantab who tied for third.

The Bulldog men also scored well on the track. In the mile, James Shirvell ’14 ran 4:09.06 to place second behind Harvard’s Maksim Korolev. Dylan Hurley ’15 also finished second in his event, running 50.24 in the 400m to finish just behind the 48.95 of Princeton’s Tom Hopkins.

The women’s team found little more success than the men’s.

“There were a few people we were planning on having better days than they did,” women’s team captain Allison Rue ’13 said. “That being said, there were a few exciting performances.”

The most notable of those performances came in the 60m hurdles, the only event the women’s team won at the meet. Mackenzie Matthews ’16 nipped Harvard’s Hannah Nunez at the finish in the event’s finals, winning with a time of 8.94.

Despite the tough overall results, however, Hillas said, “I don’t think [we need to do] anything really too different [at Heps].”

Rue agreed, saying that the meet was a rough performance the team aims to surpass in coming weeks.

The Elis will begin championship season in two weeks when the men’s and women’s teams compete at Ivy League Championships Feb. 23 and 24 and participate in ECAC championships the week after.

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