TRACK AND FIELD | Yale-Harvard tops British opponents

The Yale-Harvard women’s team won 14 events to Oxford and Cambridge’s five. Yale athletes accounted for six of the American victories and joined Harvard for a win in the 4x100m relay.
The Yale-Harvard women’s team won 14 events to Oxford and Cambridge’s five. Yale athletes accounted for six of the American victories and joined Harvard for a win in the 4x100m relay. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

It is the oldest international track and field competition in history.

Since 1899, ancient rivals — Harvard and Yale, Oxford and Cambridge — have joined forces with their countrymen to battle their opposition from across the pond. This year’s iteration took place Tuesday at Harvard’s McCurdy Track in Cambridge, and both the men’s and women’s American squads put together dominant performances against their British counterparts. The Yale-Harvard women’s team won 14 events to Oxford and Cambridge’s five, while the American men achieved similar success, winning 13–6.

“The Harvard-Yale Oxford-Cambridge meet is steeped in history,” women’s cross country captain Nihal Kayali ’13 said. “This is something that’s impressed on us when we get to Yale.”

On the women’s side, the Yale-Harvard team combined to capture a nine-point victory. Of the 14 points the American squad garnered, Yale athletes accounted for six victories, Harvard women won seven events and the rivals joined ranks for a victory in the 4x100m relay.

Eli women swept the distance events. Emily Stark ’16 captured the 5000m in 17:20.01, while Kira Garry ’15 beat Cambridge’s Polly Keen by almost 15 seconds en route to victory in the 3000m steeplechase. In the 1500m, Kayali ran 4:36.60 for a first-place finish, outpacing Cambridge’s Katherine Turner by almost 10 seconds.

“This meet unfortunately this year fell at an inconvenient point in our season,” Kayali said. “Time wise, I wasn’t really out there to PR … I was out there to get a win for the Harvard-Yale squad.”

Yale also had success in short-distance events and in the jumps. Jenna Poggi took first in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:02.65, and Alisha Jordan ‘15 won the triple jump while Emily Urciuoli ‘14 captured the pole vault.

The men’s Yale-Harvard squad also defeated their British counterparts, and the Yale men accounted for four of the 13 American victories.

“It’s strange,” men’s team captain Tim Hillas ’13 said on competing with the Crimson. “We’re used to seeing them on the track and we’re trained to try to use every muscle fiber to beat them down the stretch … At the same time, it’s a pretty cool event.”

Two of the Elis’ first-place finishes came in running events. William Rowe ’15 torched two Oxford competitors in the 400m hurdles, posting a time of 54.97 to finish first. Yale’s distance team continued its success this season as Hillas outdueled two English runners en route to a 15:28.14 time and first-place finish in the 500m.

One of the most dominant individual performances of the day came from Eli thrower Mike Levine ’13. He not only dominated the discus, winning the event with a throw of 51.59m, but also nabbed a victory in the hammer throw with a toss of 56.47m, just barely topping the 56.38m throw of Harvard teammate Ben Glauser.

Hillas said he was proud of the team’s effort, but he added that the mid-week event in between competitions last weekend and this weekend was taxing.

“I thought we performed pretty well. It’s great to get the win,” Hillas said. “Obviously, everyone was getting pretty tired.”

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will continue their seasons today and tomorrow at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, N.J.

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