The Yale track and field program will begin running, jumping and throwing its way through the Ivy League by the end of the week.
The veteran Elis broke numerous personal and school records in the 2012-’13 track and field season and are looking to continue the trend into this new season. An experienced and skilled core of Bulldogs will lead the track and field program in its 2013–’14 indoor campaign.
“I would say the team is very confident,” captain James Shirvell ’14 said. “We have a lot of guys that are confident in their abilities in all areas of the sport, so that will do us well.”
In the middle distance, team captain Shirvell leads the pack. At the Division I NCAA East Regional last season, Shirvell ran a personal best 3:43.43 in the 1500-meter race — the third best in Yale history. Two days later, he broke his newly set record and ran 1500 meters in 3:41.09 to qualify for the NCAA National Championships and set the record for the fastest 1500-meter time in Yale history.
Long distance will see help from returning runners as well as from strong freshman talent. James Randon ’17 finished in second place among Bulldogs during his first two cross-country races this season and set personal records in his first season wearing the Blue and White.
“This year we have a lot more momentum going into track than last year,” distance runner Max Payson ’16 said. “We are coming off of a relatively strong cross country season and have two people who qualified for the NCAA national championships — one in cross [country], one last year in track.”
Kevin Dooney ’16 will lead the distance runners. As a freshman, Dooney qualified for nationals and was the sixth Eli to ever accomplish the feat. In addition to qualifying for nationals, Dooney ran the fifth-best 10000-meter race in Yale history as a freshman and will represent Ireland as part of the U-23 team at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on Dec. 8.
Although the Elis appear to be the strongest in the longer distances, a similar combination of veteran experience and freshman talent will carry Yale in sprinting events.
“This year we return just about everyone,” sprinter Andrew Goble ’15 said. “When I was a freshman and sophomore, we didn’t have a huge group of upperclassmen, so a lot of us got a lot of experience. It will be exciting to see what we can do now that we’ve had the time to train. For example, our 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams return everyone.”
Last season, Daniel Jones ’14 qualified for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash, while Dana Lindberg ’14 is coming off his most accomplished season as a Bulldog with a handful of Ivy second-place finishes in the 200-meter dash.
Sprinter Marc-Andre Alexandre ’17 represented his home country of Canada two summers ago as part of the Canadian junior national team and competed in Barcelona at the World Junior Championships in the summer of 2012.
Lindberg presented himself as a threat in sprinting events, but demonstrated his true prowess in the long jump, where he recorded the seventh-best distance in Yale history and a personal record of 7.40 meters while coming in first place against nationally ranked Dartmouth and Columbia.
Combining running and jumping, the Bulldogs have two freshman talents joining the hurdles squad. Austin Loewen ’17 earned a spot on the Yale roster after taking the Michigan state championship in the 110-meter hurdle event his last two years of high school. Fellow Midwesterner Torren Peebles ’17 will also support the hurdle squad and was a Wisconsin state finalist in both the 300-meter and 110-meter hurdles.
Experienced hurdler William Rowe ’15 set the 13th–best 400-meter hurdle time in Yale history last season and established himself as Yale’s top hurdler. Daniel Kemp ’14 set personal records in the 60-meter and 110-meter hurdle events last season and will hurdle alongside Rowe this year.
As for throwing, the Bulldogs have a short but potentially powerful roster. Clifford Van Meter ’14 will compete in the javelin toss, where he has a personal-best record of 49.10 meters. Newcomer Luke Persichetti ’17, who was the Pennsylvania shot put state champion, will join Van Meter.
“We are a small team — the smallest in the Ivy League — and we do not have enough people to fill every event,” Shirvell said. “But in spite of that, we do have a lot of talent and just have to show it off and perform.”
The Bulldogs will open up the 2013–’14 indoor season this Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Coxe Cage in the Yale Season Opener.