Saturday was a victorious day for the men’s track team, proving yet again which school currently dominates one of the oldest college rivalries.
“We beat them pretty badly,” Pat Dantzer ’06 said. “We did not really question at any point whether we would win.”
The Elis traveled to Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday to compete in the 106th annual outdoor dual meet between Harvard and Yale. In spite of the miserable weather conditions, Yale dominated, 114-48. The Bulldogs excelled across a range of events, including records for sprinter Victor Cheng ’08 and Jeff Lachman ’09, a regional qualification for Kevin Hickenbottom ’09 in the javelin, and a 1-2-3 finish for Jake Gallagher ’09, Jared Bell ’09 and David Napper ’07 in the 5K.
“[The results] show how the team is really well-rounded,” Kevin Alexander ’06 said.
In this tradition, which dates back to May 1891, the Bulldogs have not always come out on top. Harvard has won 60 of the 106 meets between the two schools. But with Saturday’s victory, Yale has won each of the past three contests by more than 30 points.
Though the team proved its strengths as a unit, several Bulldogs also broke either personal or individual school records this weekend. Cheng and Langhauser both notched personal records with a 10.77 in the 100-meter dash and a throw of 46.98 meters in the discus, respectively. Also in the discus, Lachman cracked the freshman record with 50.50. And Hickenbottom qualified for regionals with his first-place javelin throw of 61.97.
Even those who didn’t break records had stellar performances, especially members of the senior class. In the 4×400-meter relay, Michael “Dot Dot” Brown ’06 pushed his team ahead in his strong leg of the race, while Mark Falco ’06 prevailed in a difficult 800-meter run. Shomari Taylor ’06 triumphed in the 400 hurdles, and Adam Presser ’06 grabbed first in the pole-vault.
The younger athletes were equally strong. In the 5K, which Dantzer said was the most exciting race of the day, the Bulldogs and Crimson pushed each other for twelve and a half laps. It was only in the last 200 meters that the Elis really pulled ahead, with Gallagher, Bell and Napper ending the race at the top.
Joe Kingsbery ’08 won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Samuel Fox ’09 dominated the high jump, and rookies Nathan Noll ’09 and Jackson Womack ’09 were just a few meters shy of their record-breaking teammates in the discus and javelin.
Taylor said the Bulldogs were expecting to win against Harvard because the Crimson’s roster is not nearly as deep. But that does not mean the Bulldogs did not have to work this weekend.
“Not everything went perfectly,” Dantzer said. “But we did what we wanted to, and we won.”
Several Elis said they are excited about their progress at this point in their season.
“I feel really confident about the direction we are moving in,” Alexander said. “People are improving every week.”
The Bulldogs will compete in the Penn Relays next weekend.