The men’s and women’s track and field teams each notched several first-place finishes in the opening meet of the outdoor season. Although the meet was unscored, members of the Yale teams said that the William and Mary Tribe Invitational presented them with an opportunity to try new events, expand from spring break training, and begin the new season with a fresh start.

The women’s team listed many strong performances, both on and off the track. Nihal Kayali ’13 won the 1500, running the race with the sixth fastest time in Yale history. Both she and Sarah Barry ’14 qualified for May’s ECAC Championships with their times. Kayali called Barry’s performance a “phenomenal debut time for a freshman.”

Annelies Gamble ’13, Gabriella Kelly ’12 and Kayali placed one, two, three in the 800. Gamble and Kelly joined Allison Rue ’13 and Jenna Poggi ’13 in the winning 4×400 relay team. On the distance side, Jacque Sahlberg ’13 took second in the 3000. Sahlberg was one second off of first place and seven seconds off of third.

The Bulldogs also did well in the jumping events: Emily Standish ’11 placed second in the high jump, Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 placed second in the long jump, and Kristen Proe ’14 and Teresa Parent ’14 finished second and third in the triple jump.

“We’re getting used to the outdoor season and the elements,” Kayali said. “We’re getting our feet wet.”

On the men’s side, the Bulldogs performed impressively, on the personal and group levels. The meet featured eight teams, the majority of which were from Virginia. In addition to winning four individual events, they took first amongst collegiate competitors in the two relays, the 4×100 and the 4×400.

Captain Marty Evans ’11 won both the 400 and the 200, running the events in 48.40 and 21.37, respectively. Both times qualified him for the IC4A Outdoor Championship in May. Earlier this month, Evans competed in the IC4A Indoor Championships in the 200, breaking the school’s indoor record during preliminaries.

“A goal for me is to be able to contribute solid performances, week in and week out,” Evans said. “I’d like to be reliable and deliver, no matter who it is against.”

Following Evans on the 200 was Matt Bieszard ’12, who placed third and also met the IC4A qualifying time. In addition, Bieszard ran a personal record 10.91 in the 100, finishing second overall. Evans cited Bieszard’s “super fast” 100 as a highlight of the meet.

In his first collegiate attempt at the steeplechase, Michael Cunetta ’14 took first with a time of 9:50.21, almost 15 seconds ahead of the second-place racer. Another freshman, Miles Richardson ’14 finished third in the 1500 and was just half a second off first place. Off the track, Michael Levine ’13 won the discus. In the hammer throw, Levine, David Smith ’11 and Stefan Palios ’14 placed second, third and fifth, respectively.

The men’s team spent spring break training at William and Mary University in Virginia. They saw the meet as a chance to run new events, and to not be daunted by an intimidating itinerary.

“Every meet is an opportunity to compete,” Evans said.

The track and field teams will next compete at the Sam Howell Invitational in Princeton, N.J. on April 1.