This Saturday, the Yale men’s track and field team traveled to Providence, R.I. for the Brown Invitational. The Bulldogs competed against Ivy teams Dartmouth, Harvard and Brown as well area teams such as Southern Connecticut State University and Rhode Island University.
The Elis finished third as a team with 87.5 points even though captain Rob Lobue ’04 and Josh Yelsey ’05, two of the team’s highest scoring individuals, did not compete. Lobue said Yelsey and he did not compete because they are preparing for the dual against Harvard next weekend and the Penn Relays the following weekend.
The Big Green came away victorious as a team with 139 points followed by the Bears with 123.5. The Crimson finished ninth with less than half Yale’s team total.
Lobue, who traveled with the team to the invite to provide leadership and support, said he was happy about how the meet went.
“It was a real important meet,” Lobue said. “Half of the Ivy League was there so it’s a good indicator of how we will stack up at conference. A lot of us did well there.”
Besides a strong third place team finish, the Bulldogs also turned in significant individual performances which Lobue said will increase the team’s confidence. The Elis came home with two individual champions — Russ Kempf ’07 in the 100-meter dash and Eoghan O’Dwyer ’04 in the hammer throw — besides a smattering of scorers across the board.
O’Dwyer said he has always been an athlete who has focused on the technique of his sport, and he said this is finally paying off. He launched the hammer 55.22 meters, beating his competition by 2.6 meters, qualifying for IC4A’s and destroying his previous personal best by about 4.5 meters.
“I’ve always known I wouldn’t be as big or as strong as the other guys, so I have had to rely on technique,” O’Dwyer said. “I have come far enough with my technique that I am reaching my potential. I have already beat my goal for the season, which is huge for me.”
O’Dwyer also said it was great to compete against and beat throwers from other members of the Ancient Eight.
“You can’t judge yourself unless you are competing with guys from the Ivy League,” he said. “It’s good to get to know your competition and it’s a good feeling when you are throwing a lot better than people who used to beat you.”
Kempf, the other Eli victor, turned in a time of 11.22 seconds which was good enough to get the gold in the shortest of the sprints. Kempf’s race is also impressive because he managed to win running directly against the wind. In the 200-meter dash, Kempf also put his fast twitch muscles to work. He ran a 22.40 to finish third.
Right behind Kempf in the 200 was Kevin Alexander ’06. Alexander had a successful day as he ran to a fourth place finish in the 200 with a 22.43 and a third place in the 400-meter dash, clocking in at 49.31. Alexander was not the only scorer in the 400, though. Rob DeLaski ’06 sprinted a time of 48.34 which was good for second place.
DeLaski said it felt good to put up a good time after having to deal with some nagging injuries lately.
“Being here at this point in the season is great but I still want to qualify for regionals,” DeLaski said. “I’m not that close to the time right now but with four weeks of training and if I keep the injury not too severe I have a chance.”
DeLaski and Alexander were both members of the 4 x 400-meter relay team that came in second with a 3:15.60 and qualified for IC4A’s. The team also included Shomari Taylor ’06 and Mike Brown ’06. DeLaski said he was proud of the squad because they finally came together and each ran well.
Brown and Taylor each also scored in other events. Brown came in fourth in the 400-meter hurdles with a 55.22 while Taylor’s mark of 6.66 meters earned him fifth in the long jump.
In other field events, the Bulldogs racked up points as well. Jihad Beauchman ’06 finished fifth in the high jump by clearing 1.99 meters. Jordan Chapman ’05 hit 4.40 meters in the pole vault, earning another fifth place.
In the longer events, the Elis had some solid races. Nathan Clute ’07 ran the half mile in a time of 1:54.54, finishing fourth. Casey Moriarty ’05 ended up fifth, racing 1,500 meters in 3:52.91.
The Elis travel to Cambridge next weekend for a dual meet.
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