In a gathering of the Ivy League’s best at the 2002 Heptagonal Indoor Track Championships Feb. 23-24, the men’s and women’s track teams struggled to eighth and sixth place finishes, respectively.
Host Cornell scored 113 points, 12 more than second place Harvard and 67 more than the Bulldogs, to win on the women’s side. In the men’s championship, Princeton destroyed the field scoring 127 points — 46 points ahead of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth in second, and 103 ahead of the eighth place Elis.
“I think both the coaching staff and the team as a whole was pretty unhappy with the Heps,” men’s captain Donnie Carson ’02 said. “We knew it would be tough competition, but we expected better. We just didn’t really get it done in the qualifying rounds on Saturday.”
Once again, the women’s squad lacked participants in the field events, recording zero points. On the track, though, the Elis had a few strong performances.
Sikira Backus ’02 raced to a second place finish in the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.83 seconds. Backus also took fourth in the 200-meter dash.
Despite her high finish in the dash, Backus said that she was not content with her day.
“I was not pleased at all with my performance,” Backus said.
In the distance runs, the sisters Kate ’03 and Laura O’Neill ’03 posted another solid showing as they garnered 34 of the Bulldogs’ 46 points. The twins raced to an impressive one-two finish in the 3000-meter run Saturday. Kate O’Neill won the race in a time of 9:45.52 less than two-tenths of a second ahead of sister Laura O’Neill. Sunday, Kate O’Neill galloped to third place in a time of 4:52.37 in the mile. In the 5000-meter run Laura O’Neill destroyed the competition as she won the final by over seven seconds in a time of 17:06.11.
For both the men and the women, trial heats to qualify for the finals took place on Saturday. The finals of the events took place on Sunday, except for the 3000-meter final, which was on Saturday.
Like the women’s squad, only a few Elis earned points for the men over the weekend.
On the track, just three Bulldogs made it through Saturday’s qualifying rounds. In contrast, the victorious Tigers had four runners in the final of the 800-meter race.
Carson and Thomas Hocker ’02 ran a disciplined 500-meter final to earn half of the Elis 24 points. Carson finished second to Harvard’s Kobie Fuller in a time of 1:04.16. Hocker took fourth in 1:04.92.
“I was really happy with the way Thomas and I ran the 500,” Carson said. “I really owe my finish to him. We ran as a team and stayed on the heels of Kobie Fuller. I think by running together it made it easier to keep the rest of the pack behind us.”
Hocker and Carson also played a key role in the Bulldogs’ second place finish in the 4X400-meter relay. Fellow seniors Tom Stout ’02 and Phil Williams ’02 rounded out the relay team.
Despite struggling in the field, the Elis did manage to pull out two points. Anthony Thomas ’03 finished sixth in the long jump and Allen Czerwinski ’03 took sixth in the weight throw to each earn a point.
Carson said that the Bulldogs were disappointed with their performance.
The Yale men and women will look to rebound from this weekend when they travel to Boston for the IC4A Championships March 2-3. Only those individuals and relay teams that have qualified will travel north for the Elis.