TRACK & FIELD | Elis manage PRs at third meet in six days

Neither the men’s nor women’s teams managed a top-five finish at the Larry Ellis Invitational, but both teams had individual heat winners.
Neither the men’s nor women’s teams managed a top-five finish at the Larry Ellis Invitational, but both teams had individual heat winners. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

The Bulldog athletes that stepped on the track at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton this weekend were tired. The meet was the men’s and women’s track and field teams’ third competition of the previous six days, preceded by an intense dual meet with Harvard last Saturday and this year’s edition of the historic Harvard-Yale Oxford-Cambridge meet in Boston on Tuesday.

But despite the draining schedule, the Elis put together a number of impressive results at the invitational. Competing against a field that James Shirvell ’14 estimated included 2,000 athletes, a number of Bulldogs recorded personal bests at the unscored meet on Friday and Saturday.

“I think we were actually a bit surprised by how well we did at this past meet,” Shirvell.

Although the Bulldog women had no top-five finishes overall, several athletes placed well in their heats. The 4×400 team of Allison Rue ’13, Kelsey Lin ’14, Shannon McDonnell ’16 and Emily Cable ’15 won its heat with a time of 3:57.75, although it finished eighth overall in the event.

The women’s team continued its success in the 400m heat with Dakota McCoy’s ’13 victory in the third heat of the 400m hurdles. Finishing in a time of 1:03.99, McCoy just nabbed first in front of West Virginia’s Arielle Gaither, who covered the distance in 1:04.13. McCoy, however, placed 11th overall in the event, while her teammate Jenna Poggi ’13 placed eighth, finishing fifth in the first heat with a time of 1:02.96.

Like the women’s squad, the men’s team managed no top-five finishes amidst the talent-laden field. Still, the Bulldogs found success in certain events over the two days. Just as McCoy and Poggi excelled in the women’s 400m hurdles, William Rowe ’15 did the same for the men’s team. Rowe won the third heat of the event with a time of 54.24, just outhustling Rider’s Dave Brown for first. But Rowe finished 10th overall, with the title going to Kutztown’s Kori Meshaw.

Perhaps the Elis’ most notable performance on the day came from Shirvell in the Elite section of the 1500m. Shirvell placed sixth in the event with a time of 3:47.63, while Villanova’s Jordan Williamsz won the event. Both Williamsz and his teammate, Sam McEntee, broke the meet’s previous record of 3:45.00 with times of 3:44.43 and 3:44.53, respectively, making Shirvell’s effort all the more impressive.

“I know I was very much surprised by my performance,” Shirvell said. “I set a [personal record], so that was great… I think we’re pretty well trained right now.”

The Elis will continue their busy schedule this weekend at the Penn Relays, which begin this Thursday and continue until Saturday.

The team will also host the Yale Springtime Invitational at the Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Complex on Sunday.

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