This weekend the men’s and women’s track teams competed at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, which featured more than 300 events between college, high school, secondary school and Olympic training teams at Franklin Field, where the Heptagonal Championships will be held May 9 to 10.
The men’s performances at the unscored Relays were highlighted by the 4×800 meter relay on the last day of competition on Saturday. The Bulldogs took second in the college section with a time of 7:25.61, the fastest time posted by a Yale team since 1991. The women finished sixth in the same race with a time of 2:17.45 — two seconds behind Ivy League rival Columbia and a good 10 seconds ahead of Princeton.
Jared Bell ’09, who anchored the 4×800 relay, said he was anxious about competing at the oldest track and field competition in the United States, which had 111,720 spectators over the three days of competition this weekend.
“It’s always kind of nerve-wracking to be racing in front of 47,000 people, but the adrenaline kicks in and you just try and think of doing the best you can for the three guys who ran in front of you,” Bell said. “I wasn’t even thinking about times until the last 100 when I saw the clock.”
On Thursday, Jeff Perella ’10 broke his personal record and posted the eighth-fastest Yale time in the 5000-meter run, good for 20th place at the Penn Relays finals. On Friday, Samuel Fox ’09, who won the high jump in April 18’s meet against Harvard, posted a top clearance of 2.10 meters, making him the second-best high jumper in Yale history.
In the medley relay — which included Bell, Remy Ray ’10, Chris Labosky ’10 and Murat Kayali ’09 —came in second of all Ivy teams, behind Princeton, and posted the fifth-fastest Yale time. Ray, Marty Evans ’11, Ted Galligan ’10 and David Soiles ’10 placed sixth in the all-Ivy Heptagonal division of the 4×400-m relay.
Saturday, Jake Gallagher ’09, Kayali, Labosky and Bell went on to take second in the 4×800-m race, wrapping up the weekend successfully.
On the women’s side, Alexa Monti ’12, Claudia Duncan ’10, Jennifer Parker ’11 and Kate Grace ’11 formed the 4×100-m team that placed third in the Ivy division and 51st overall. Bevin Peters ’10 took third in the 3000-m steeplechase race on Thursday. Only four women stayed in Philadelphia to compete Saturday in the 4×800-m Championship of America relay. Stephany Reaves ’10, Grace, Duncan and Erin Walsh ’10 placed sixth in the race, just two seconds behind Columbia and a full 10 seconds ahead of Princeton.
“I feel like we’re right where we need to be,” Peters said. “People will be prepared to run really well at Heps in two weeks, and everyone is motivated to keep working until then.”
In two weekends, the Bulldogs will return to Philadelphia to compete in the Heptagonal Championships.
“It was just a good opportunity to get some solid performances against some really good competition,” Bell said. “The teams we’ll face [in two weeks] won’t be as good as the teams we faced this past weekend.”