The men’s and women’s indoor track squads burst out with several virtuosic performances Saturday at the Boston University Invitational. But in the crucial smaller events the teams could not muster the consistency to back their runaway stars.
The men’s team came in third place overall with a 39-point finish. Northeastern dominated in the throwing, jumping and hurdling events, and flew toward victory with 82 points, 35 points ahead of second-place Albany.
Still, it was the Yale team that dispensed lessons from the floor.
Robert Dwyer ’04 won the mile with a time of 4:18.01.
Robert Lobue ’04 won the 1000 meter run in just 2:31.91, and Don Carson ’02 took the 500 meter away from BU’s runner and completed the triumvirate in 1:04.40.
In a shoe-pounding thriller, Anthony Thomas ’03 sliced the finish line just one-tenth of a second short of victory and finished second to Northeastern’s Jared Carpenter in the 200 meter dash.
“We weren’t approaching this meet tactically, plotting to win. It was just a good opportunity to relieve some of our antsiness to get out there and show the freshmen the aura of a college meet,” said Carson.
He added that a slew of Yale’s cross-country runners will join the competition in the next, more serious, meet: the Yale Invitational on Jan. 12.
The Yale women did not fair as well in Boston; they placed fourth with 29 points. Northeastern’s women led the pack with an untouchable 73 point finish.
But there were moments for the Yale women that sweetly punctured each hour of the meet.
Candace Arthur ’05 finished a close second in her heat for the 55 meter dash, then snagged fifth place in a final dash where the top six runners finished within the same second of the clock. Arthur’s time was 7.44, victor Uzo Aduba from BU’s, 7.07.
Madeline Meek ’04 won the mile with a cushy four seconds to spare. Her time was 5:14.74.
And Jessica Thomas bore down in the 800 meter run, making one-tenth of a second seem an eternity in her 2:19.46 victory ahead of chasers from BU and Yale teammate Vanessa Mazandi ’05, who placed third and dolloped an extra point upon Thomas’ success.
Yale suffered in the pits because they were unable to sport any throwers or pole vaulters.
“Everyone has deficiencies,” explained women’s head coach Mark Young, who is also the director of Yale’s track and field program.
“No one goes to the league meet and covers all the events. We’re still one of the top three or four teams in the league, and we’ll be a good ‘big events’ team consistently.”
Still, Young conceded, “we’re going to give up a lot of points” in the throwing and vaulting events.
The Yale women are young, however, and Saturday’s meet gave only a small taste of how strong they promise to be on the track.
At the Yale Invitational, cross-country stars Kate O’Neill ’03, Laura O’Neill ’03, Amanda Brewster ’03, Rebecca Hunter ’04, Lindsay Mitchell ’03, and Melissa Wisner ’05 will join the indoor squad, along with the rest of the women’s cross country team, who were this year’s Ivy Champs.
“We have an extraordinary freshman group and probably the best 4 x 400 relay we’ve ever had,” Young said.
Katrina Svoboda ’05 agreed.
“We tried to get as many people as possible in the relays for this meet. They just threw me in there, and I love relays. I was running from event to event the whole time,” she said.
Svoboda placed third in the long jump at Boston, her first college meet. She jumped 16’11.50 in a promising debut.
Coach Young sees bright things for the Bulldogs this season as the Yale Invitational draws near.
“In a meet like the league championships, we will do very well,” he said.
Young said the team’s top Ivy rivals this season will be Brown and Cornell.
“The Cornell coach is one of my best friends, and the Princeton coach is a good friend. We’re like siblings — and we want to beat each other.”