Most freshmen in college sports are not the ones who break records or set performance standards. Usually, this task falls to veterans with more experience and training.
But freshmen on the Yale men’s and women’s track teams showed at the Yale Track Classic on Jan. 10 and 11 this is not always the case.
The men’s and women’s track teams hosted over 30 regional teams at the invitational, including Holy Cross, the University of Rhode Island and Boston College. The practice meet included teams from NCAA Division I, II and III.
Jihad Beauchman ’06 placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 14.26 meters. He also finished fourth in the men’s high jump, reaching 1.96 meters. Jordan Chapman ’05 placed second in the triple jump with a height of 1.91 meters. Kevin Alexander ’06 finished 14 of 42 runners in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.01 seconds.
Other strong finishes for the men’s track team included Anthony Thomas’ ’03 6th place in the 55-meter dash, and the Bulldogs’ first-place finish in the distance medley.
The freshmen on the women’s team performed very strongly, said Mark Young, director of men’s and women’s track and cross country.
“We have a terrific freshman class on the women’s team this year,” Young said. “With the strength of the upperclassmen to go along with that of the freshmen, we should challenge for an Ivy title this year.”
Two freshmen set records for Yale at the invitational. Joslyn Woodard ’06 set a new school record in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.14 seconds. Woodard said it was the first race she won despite a back start.
“I came out of the blocks behind, so I knew that I had to give it everything that I had if I wanted to win,” Woodard said.
Molly Lederman ’06 also set a new school record in the pole vault. Lederman vaulted 3.80 meters, taking the top finish at the invitational. Also representing the freshmen class were Dionna Thomas ’06, who won the triple jump with a distance of 11.39 meters, and Margo Angelopoulos ’06, who placed fourth in the shotput, throwing 12.35 meters.
The Bulldogs took second place in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:06.61. In the 3,200-meter relay, Yale placed two teams in the top three, with one team finishing second in 9:25.25, and the other taking third in 9:32.67.
Lisa Wygant ’04 also finished second in the high jump event, reaching a height of 1.60 meters.
While it was a non-scoring meet, David Shoehalter, associate head coach of men’s and women’s track and cross country, said it was an important competition for both teams. Shoehalter, who works primarily with the men’s team, thought the performances of the men, especially the freshmen, was encouraging.
“I want to see my guys putting themselves into competitive situations,” Shoehalter said. “I saw this in a lot of the young people on the team this past weekend.”
The Yale Track Classic was the first competition for the Bulldogs since the Northeastern Invitational on Dec. 7. Both the men’s and women’s team face Dartmouth and Columbia in New York City on Jan. 17.
“The meet was our first team event since before the break,” Young said. “It helped knock off some of the rust before facing Dartmouth and Columbia this coming weekend.”