While most students were enjoying spring break the past two weeks, the men’s and women’s track teams were hard at work at the Long Beach State Classic, where they kicked off the outdoor season.

The men’s squad finished fifth with 168.5 points, and the women’s finished seventh, garnering 137.5 points. Cornell earned a sweep at the meet, which was held in San Diego March 17, as the Big Red men racked up 263.5 points and the women scored 249.

But the meet should not be seen as a predictor of things to come, as the Elis did not treat this as a top-priority event.

“We approached it like a preseason scrimmage,” head coach Mark Young said. “We didn’t run many of our top people — it was used as the end of our spring-trip training event.”

Young added that the women’s cross country team placed seventh in the country at the NCAA Championships this fall, yet only one of those runners competed in the meet.

A top performer who did compete was Melanie Harris ’01, who placed second in the hammer throw with a distance of 166 feet 8 inches.

“I was very pleased with her performance,” Young said. “That’s almost as far as what she did last year in the league championship meet.”

Another of Yale’s veterans who competed was Jennifer Newsom ’01, who was third in the 200-meter dash. Young said he has high hopes for the team’s sprinting program this spring, and Newsom’s performance was an encouraging sign for the Bulldogs.

With the switch to the outdoors come some additional events not on the winter schedule, including the 400-meter hurdles, where Young was pleased with the performances of Jessica Thomas ’02 and Becky Rauth ’03, who came home sixth and eighth, respectively.

On the men’s side, Allen Czerwinski ’03 was second in the javelin with a throw of 194 feet 1 inch. Czerwinski, however sees room for improvement.

“My intensity wasn’t quite where it needed to be,” Czerwinski said. “I don’t plan on letting that happen again.”

Thomas Hocker ’02 also came through with a strong performance for the Elis, placing second in the 400-hurdles with a time of 53.79 seconds.

Since both teams treated the meet as an exhibition event, little if any importance should be placed on their finishing positions. Both the men and women had encouraging performances, and are optimistic for the rest of the season.

“We are pretty hopeful,” Czerwinski said. “We have some pretty high goals set for ourselves. We expect a lot out of everybody for the outdoor season.”

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