As most Yale students began packing all of their warm clothes to head back to New Haven, the men’s and women’s track teams were already back on the track.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs hosted numerous schools from the Northeast in the 25th Yale Collegiate Invitational at Coxe Cage. The meet proved to be a felicitous start to the new season.

“The meet was a success on a lot of fronts,” high jumper Sam Fox ’09 said. “It is still early in the season, and the performances are not as good as they will be by the end, but it was a good marker.”

The women’s track team dominated in relays, demonstrating that the members’ individual training over the holiday break paid off. In the distance medley relay, the A Team placed first with a time of 12:02.99, and the B Team came in fifth (12:29.37). In the 4×800 meter relay, the A Team won first place, and the B Team finished second with times of 9:27.68 and 9:44.21, respectively. The Yale A Team placed third in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 4:00.35.

“We had a set training schedule that told us exactly what to do each day with some days that were rigorous and some that were not,” sprinter Lizzie Fulton ’09 said. “We also were back on campus a week early to train.”

The only winner of an individual event on Sunday for the women’s track team was Ashley Nolet ’07, who won the pole vault with a height of 3.45 meters. Also representing the Elis in the pole vault event, Bailey Carroll ’10 placed fourth.

It seems as though the Bulldogs were motivated by having multiple teammates competing in the same events. In the 3000-meter run, Katie Dewitt ’07 finished third with a time of 10:32.63, Alex Cadicamo ’10 came in fifth (10:36.14) and Karen Porter ’08 placed eighth. In the 400-meter dash, Jessica Pall ’08 placed fourth (57.73), Faith Briggs ’10 placed seventh (59.6), captain Katie Dlesk ’07 placed eighth (59.63) and Fulton placed 17th.

“It is great to see other teammates doing really well,” Fulton said. “It’s also good for practice because training together helps me to run faster.”

The large size of the Yale team aided some of the freshmen in adjusting to collegiate competition, they said.

“It’s pretty new to me because I had a small high school team and never had people in my event, but we help each other along as far as pace goes,” said Cadicamo, a distance runner. “I like it.”

The men’s team found success last Saturday, with seven athletes placing in the top five in their individual events. The Bulldogs faced a difficult transition after losing a talented senior class but have quickly overcome that obstacle.

“The freshman class has been a good addition not only on the track but off as well,” Fox said. “They have done a great job making up for a lot of key losses.”

Leading the men’s team this weekend, Dan O’Brien ’08 won first place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.22. This was an improvement from O’Brien’s fourth-place finish at the Yale Season Opener in December.

Captain John Langhauser ’07 set a good example by placing in two events this weekend. He won second place in the shot put with a throw of 16.79 meters and was only .01 meters behind the first-place finisher. In the weight throw, Langhauser placed ninth. Teammates Jeff Lachman ’09 and Nate Noll ’09 also had strong performances in the throwing events, coming in fourth and tenth place, respectively, in the shot put.

After an impressive showing to start the 2007 season, the men’s and women’s track teams are moving onto their upcoming Ivy League meet this Sunday at Coxe Cage.

“We are looking to run through Dartmouth and Columbia,” Fox said. “Last year we dominated this meet. At this point, we should be able to put a mark on the Ivy League and pull out a win.”