TRACK & FIELD | Elis settle in for long haul

Photo by Maria Zepeda.

After taking a week off from competition, the men’s and women’s track and field teams restarted their seasons this weekend at the Sam Howell Invitational. The meet kicked off the stretch run in the Elis’ season, during which the teams will compete every week until ECAC championships in the middle of May.

While the two-day meet, held at Princeton’s Weaver Stadium on Friday and Saturday, was unscored, the Elis recorded several impressive performances from athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams. The women’s team posted three top-five finishes, including Kira Garry’s ’15 second-place finish in the 3000m. While the men’s squad placed in the top five only once, the team competed well in several distance events.

The Bulldog women’s 4x400m relay team, composed of Emily Cable ’15, Jenna Poggi ’13, Shannon McDonnell ’16 and Kelsey Lin ’14, nabbed a top-five finish for the Elis. The squad placed fourth in the event with a time of 3:53.70, while first-place finisher St. John’s set a meet record in 3:45.40. The women’s team’s second top-five finish came by way of Emily Urciuoli ’14, who placed fourth in pole vault with a height of 3.40m.

Garry’s run in the 3000m represented the highest finish of the day for both the men’s and women’s teams. The sophomore finished the race in 9:53.84, just over six seconds slower than first-place finisher Vanessa Wright of Rowan and almost 10 seconds faster than any other competitor.

“I thought that the team’s performance was a good indicator of what’s to come of the season,” Garry said.

On the men’s side, the team’s only top-five finish came in the longest distance event of the meet. Kevin Dooney ’16, who placed 24th in the 10000m at the Junior World Track and Field Championships last year, competed in Division I of the event this weekend. The Dublin native covered the distance in 29:55.91, good for fifth at the meet and for Yale’s fifth-fastest time ever in the event.

While the men’s team did not post any other top-five finishes, it showed well in several other events. The Elis placed four runners in the top 11 of the Division I 1500m, led by James Shirvell ’14 and John McGowen ’15 in sixth and seventh, respectively. Shirvell finished less than a second and a half off the time of the event’s winner. Sam Kirtner ’13 and Tim Hillas ’13 also finished well for the Elis, placing ninth and eleventh, respectively.

“We actually ran kind of slow, but we closed pretty well,” Shirvell said. He added that the race indicated that the team could perform well in more tactical environments, such as Ivy League Championships in May.

The Elis will continue their season this coming Saturday at home in a dual meet against Harvard.

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