Cox Cage, home of the Yale men and women’s indoor track and field teams, was buzzing this past weekend when the Bulldogs hosted the 33rd annual Track and Field Invitational — a highly competitive track scrimmage.
Many neighboring Connecticut schools — including Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, University of New Haven, UConn and Wesleyan — made the trip to Cox Cage in order to compete against the Bulldogs. Both Eli squads started the new year in full stride as the women’s program picked up seven event wins and the men’s squad demonstrated steady improvement according to members of the team.
“Overall, performances on the women’s side were strong considering the meet is right after Christmas break,” said Katerra Logan’17. “In practice, we need to focus on continuing to elevate our intensity and overall moral in preparation for the YDC [Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia] meet in two weeks.”
The Eli women had many standout performances to earn their first place finish at the invitational. In the 200-meter dash, Emily Cable ’15 earned a third-place finish with a time of 25.03 seconds. In the same race, Renee Vogel ’16 edged into the top 50, with a 49th place finish and time of 28.70. In the 500-meter race running duo Elle Brunsdale ’15 and Shannon McDonnell ’16 finished in fifth and sixth place with times of 1:16.89 and 1:16.91 respectively. Brunsdale and McDonnell’s times were remarkably only .02 seconds apart. In the same race Yale’s Grace Brittan ’15 came in 21st with a time of 1:22.34.
For the 800-meter race, Emily Waligurski ’16 and Dana Klein ’18 took second and third place respectively with times of 2:15.81 and 2:19.92. Not far behind in sixth place was Kate Raphael ’18 with a time of 2:21.03. Melissa Fairchild ’18 just barely missed a top-10 finish in the 800 with a time of 2:22.97, edged out by a fraction of a second in a closely contested race.
In the same race Emily Stark ’15, Anna Demaree ’15 and Julia Borowski ’18 took 20th, 28th and 29th with respective times of 2:277.24, 2:31.86 and 2:33.31. Stark, who already ran the 800-meter race, also finished third in the one-mile run with a quick 5:03.95 pace. Behind her was Yale’s Rachel Jones ’16 with a 5:10.97 time, and behind Jones was Demaree with a time of 5:18.06. Borowski came in 26th in the same race with a time of 5:34.84.
Stark was not the only Yale runner to compete in multiple races, as a fair number of the Yale women competed in various events. The last run was the 3,000-meter race where Claire Ewing-Nelson ’18 earned Yale a 12th place position with a time of 10:49.56, and Sofia Kane ’18 earned a 15th place finish closely behind with a time of 10:56.64.
Like the women, the Bulldog men also had a successful performance at the invitational scrimmages. In the 60-meter dash Torren Peebles ’17 crossed the finish line with a time of 7.14 in 10th place. Captain William Rowe ’15 led the Elis in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.39 and a fifth place finish. Trailing closely — .48 seconds behind — was Mario Kranjac’15 who took 10th place. Chandler Crusan ’15 and Dylan Hurley ’15 took 15th and 18th places with times of 53.08 and 53.35 respectively. Alexander McDonald ’16 and Austin Puleo ’16 led the Bulldogs in the 500-meter run, taking 8th and 11th with 1:06.89 and 1:07.25 in a tightly contested top pack.
The 800-meter race featured Matt Chisholm’18 with a time of 1:56.39 and third-place finish.
“Since it is so early in the season, with this weekend being only our second meet and first since winter break, most of our training has been mileage intensive in order to build up our running base,” said Chisholm. “We were training hard right up until the meet as a team and continued to do so afterwards in hopes of possibly sacrificing early performance for later success.”
In the 4×400 team race, Yale had several teams competing, with the top one earning third place with a time of 3:24.84. A young group featuring Mike Koller ’18, Jake Hoops ’18 and Luke Persichetti ’17 competed in field events, which included shot put and weight-throwing events. Hoops’s shot put was 11.78 meters — good for 29th place — while his weight throw was 8.30 meters, which was good for a 26th place finish.
Persichetti earned seventh in the shot put event, the highest of the Yale men, with a throw of 15.28 meters. Koller’s performance in the high jump —1.84 meters — earned him a fourth place finish.
Given the successful presence of underclassmen in competition, Chisholm is optimistic for the Eli men’s future.
“We have a few young stars as seen in Kevin Dooney ’16, James Randon ’17 and Thomas Gmür ’18,” Chisolm said. “Be sure to look out for them when the races begin to heat up.”
The track season is now in full tilt as Yale hosts Ivy League Rivals Dartmouth and Columbia on Jan. 24.