The Frank Shorter ’69 track felt the burn of blazing runners at the two-day Giegengack Invitational, where it witnessed a new meet and facility record set in the mile run.
Jared Bell ’09 ran the mile in 4:08.07 for a fourth-place finish and an IC4A qualifying time, but running in under four minutes, Andrew Bumbalough of Georgetown took the prize with a time of 3:58.46.
Bell surpassed the 4:14 qualifying mark for the IC4A meet — the men’s equivalent of the East Coast Athletic Conference championship — and landed in the No. 10 spot on the Yale indoor all-time list.
Two of Bell’s teammates also qualified for the IC4A Championships, which take place in Boston on March 8. Remi Ray ’10 qualified with a time of 1:04.57 and third place in the 500-meter dash, and Jake Gallagher ’09 ran the 1,000-meter run for fifth place in 2:28.77.
The IC4A qualifying times are fixed standards based on the previous year’s performance times. The Bulldogs have already earned five qualifying times at the Boston University Terrier Invitational on Jan. 25, and men’s head coach David Shoehalter said he expects his team to secure more qualifying times in upcoming meets.
“In a good year, about half the kids on the roster will qualify for the IC4A,” he said. “A goal for invitationals is to try to get marks for the championships.”
The Bulldogs’ meet this coming weekend, the Boston University St. Valentine’s Invitational, will be the last invitational meet during the indoor season.
Several Bulldogs had notable performances this weekend that could possibly earn them IC4A qualifying marks. If not enough competitors clear the bar for automatic entry to IC4A, the next best times over the course of the season are given entry. Johnny Van Deventer ’11 won the 5,000-meter run Friday, and Samuel Fox ’09 earned second place in the high jump.
“I feel like we are really progressing well for the performances later in the season,” Shoehalter said. “This meet is a simulation for the league championship with the competition lasting two days.”
Since the invitations are not scored meets, athletes are able to push themselves to get in shape for the very short Ivy League season.
“We are not at our best yet,” Gallagher said. “The invitationals give us time to try to get there because we want to be contenders at the Ivy League Championship.”
The Eli women also had several performances that qualified for the ECAC Championship on Mar. 8. Lindsay Donaldson ’08 and Bevin Peters ’09 finished in first and third place, respectively, in the 3,000-meter run. The meet was Peters’ first since recovering from injuries that plagued her since cross country season.
Also qualifying for ECAC was Ingrid Sproll ’08 in the 800-meter run, and she joined the team of Mary Kuder ’08, Kathryn Schleckser ’09 and Meredith Leenhouts ’08 to qualify in the distance medley relay.
The Bulldogs saw competition from fellow Ivies, other universities, alumni and even coaches. Anna Mahon, volunteer assistant coach for the Elis, earned a second-place finish in the weight throw.
“This weekend was good competition regardless of the fact that we weren’t scored as a team,” captain Elizabeth Calle ’08 said. “But I think everyone is ready to step up the competition and run with a team victory in mind.”
The Eli women will travel with the men’s team to the final non-scoring meet in Boston this weekend in an effort to continue earning qualifying times and improving prior to competing against Harvard and Princeton at Coxe Cage in two weeks.