In their first officially scored meet of the spring season on Saturday, Yale’s men and women’s track and field teams competed in their annual tri-meet against Dartmouth and Columbia, this year hosted by the Big Green in Hanover, New Hampshire. Although there were some very strong individual performances, both teams placed in third overall.
The women’s squad captured four first-place finishes, three in the field and one on the track. These top performers included Emily Urciuoli ’14, who cleared 3.66 meters in the pole vault, Alisha Jordan ’15, who leapt 11.49 meters in the triple jump and Karleh Wilson ’16, who covered 16.53 meters in the weighted throw. Kira Garry ’15 secured a 9:49.79 first-place finish in the longest track event, the 3,000 meter.
Other strong performances and personal bests came from Shannon McDonnell ’16, who placed second with 2:15.83 in the 800 meters, and Mackenzie Mathews ’16, who took second place in both the 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles in 8.21 and 9.05, respectively.
“In the weeks leading up to the season, the team focuses on endurance by putting in hours and meters on the track,” Mathews said in an email. “This built up endurance carries into the season and enables us to run harder for longer.”
McDonnell, who works under middle-distance coach Amy Gosztyla, added that the majority of the team’s hardest training takes place early in the season with high mileage workouts. As the team approaches the championship season, however, workouts become less intense so that the runners feel more fresh.
The men’s team also yielded some stellar performances Saturday. Brendan Sullivan ’16 secured the fifth–best Yale pole vault in the school’s history, finishing second in the meet, and Dana Lindberg ’16 took first place in the long jump, clearing 6.91 meters.
Yale also excelled in the sprinting events. Marc-André Alexandre ’17 captured two first-place finishes, with 6.95 seconds in the 60-meter sprint and 22.10 seconds in the 200-meter sprint. In the 60 meters, Alexandre was immediately followed by fellow teammates Daniel Jones ’14 in 7.04 seconds and Dana Lindberg in 7.05 seconds, securing the top three spots of that event for Yale.
According to the freshman Alexandre, the adjustment to being a student-athlete has been challenging, yet rewarding.
“I’m still adjusting to being [both] a freshman and a varsity athlete,” he explained in an email. “I sincerely think that my teammates and all the people around me … [have] helped ease the transition. It is a sudden freedom that you have when you go from high school to college … [and] requires a lot of time management.”
Alexandre considers lifts, healthy habits, competition and visualization as important contributions to his performance.
He added that he pays special attention to his routine in the days leading up to a meet.
“One or two days before each meet, I try to stay hydrated and sleep a little earlier than usual, so my body is fully charged at the day of the meet. I also visualize a lot before meets. I try to imagine myself in the race … For me, the key is to stay relaxed and reduce the stress as much as possible.”
This coming Saturday the Bulldogs will travel to Boston University to compete in the Terrier Invitational.