In what some would consider the most heated meet of the year, the Yale track and field teams showed promise and success even while finishing in third place, wrapping up their regular seasons at the historic Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet in Cambridge on Saturday.
Despite finishing third in both the men’s and the women’s team competitions, both Yale teams achieved individual success, recording multiple personal bests and top-three finishes across a wide variety of events.
“There’s so much history surrounding this meet, and I think there’s a big emotional investment that plays a part whenever we run against Harvard and Princeton,” Kate Raphael ’18 said. “We didn’t get caught up in the nitty-gritty details of points and seed times, and instead just competed with the people around us, which resulted in some outstanding performances and a ton of personal records.”
Success started in the mile event, led by captain Kira Garry ’15, who took second with a time of 4:49.62. Following Garry was Dana Klein ’18, who competed in the event for the first time in her Yale career and took sixth with a time of 4:58.20.
In the women’s 800-meter run, Bulldog runners also posted great results. Shannon McDonnell ’16 finished in second with a time of 2:12.02, with Grace Brittan ’16 (2:15.21, PR) and Frances Schmiede ’17 (2:16.16) finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
Two Eli women stood out at the meet, as Emily Waligurski ’17 brought home the lone individual victory for the Bulldogs and Elle Brunsdale ’15 set three personal records, all of which earned her top-five finishes.
Waligurski’s triumph in the 1,000-meter run came with a personal best time of 2:50.18. The sophomore also anchored the 4×880 yard relay, which brought home a first place medal, tying with Princeton with a time of 9:00.78.
“Emily ran a truly spectacular leg, closing the gap and winning the race by outleaning the Princeton team,” Raphael said of Waligurski’s performance in the meet. “Emily really embodied the spirit of the meet and of competition.”
Brunsdale also had a big day, bringing home a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (9.19, PR), a second-place finish in the 500-meter dash (1:16.19, PR) and a third-place finish in the long jump (5.47 meters, PR).
In the jumping events, Renee Vogel ’16 placed second and tied her personal best in the pole vault with a height of 3.45 meters. In the throwing events, Karleh Wilson ’16 placed second in the shot put (14.54 meters) and third in the weight throw (16.42 meters).
“As we are all able to contribute in this way, we are really gelling as a team, enabling Yale to make a mark in [the] championship season,” Waligurski said. “We may not have won the meet yesterday, but it certainly shows that we are in the mix.”
The Yale women’s team finished with 41 total points, third behind Princeton at 87 points and Harvard at 54 points.
The Yale men faced similar team results, totaling 22 points and coming in third behind Princeton’s 125 and Harvard’s 36, but they also had similar individual success, including some strong performances by underclassmen.
“I think this meet shows we have some potential as a team, but we didn’t quite capitalize on that this weekend,” James Randon ’17 said. “We’re gearing toward [the Indoor Heptagonal Championships] in two weeks, not necessarily this meet.”
In the 60-meter hurdles, Paedyn Gomes ’18 placed fourth and achieved a personal record with a time of 8.19 seconds. Austin Loewen ’17 also raced a personal best in the event, running an 8.56 and taking seventh.
In the 500-meter dash, Austin Puleo ’17 took fourth with a time of 1:05.89, followed by captain William Rowe ’15 (1:06.22), Alexander McDonald ’16 in seventh (1:06.72) and Denzell Jobson ’17 in eighth (1:08.34).
Randon and Marc-Andre Alexandre ’17 both brought home first place honors in the 1,000 meter run and 400-meter dash respectively. Randon edged out all other competitors with a time of 2:29.48, taking the win by 0.65 seconds, and Alexandre won with a time of 48.44, nearly a full second ahead of the second-place finisher.
Alexandre also was part of the men’s 4×440 yard relay, which took second with a time of 3:19.57, just four hundredths of a second behind Princeton’s first squad. Chandler Crusan ’17, Dylan Hurley ’15 and Rowe rounded out the rest of the relay team.
In the field events, Luke Persichetti ’17 and Jake Hoops ’18 both set personal records in the weight toss, taking third (16.02 meters) and sixth (12.85 meters), respectively.
Brendan Sullivan ’16 continued in his weekly successes, placing second in the pole vault with a jump of 4.90 meters.
In the long jump, Carl Mansson ’18 earned fourth place with a distance of 6.36 meters, and Mike Koller ’18 took fifth in the high jump with a height of 1.94 meters.
“Personally, I’m excited about Heps in two weeks,” Garry said. “I think we have been training hard and now is the time when it all pays off.”
Two weekends from now, both Bulldog squads will compete in the Indoor Heptagonal Championships in Cambridge once again, marking the beginning of the winter championship season.