After a promising and successful indoor season, the Bulldog men’s and women’s track and field teams kicked off their outdoor season on a positive note, as both teams finished in the top five against tough competition.
Last Saturday, the Bulldogs faced off against teams from all over the country in the Ross and Sharon Irwin Invite at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The meet capped a week of training and resting in the warmer weather of California.
“Competing at Point Loma Nazarene University this weekend provided a great opportunity for the team to compete in warm weather early in the season, which is difficult to get here in Connecticut,” Emily Cable ’15 said. “I think that this competition was great for the team’s confidence and will begin to set the tone for the rest of the season.”
The women’s team performed at a high level, tying with Southwestern for third place with 176 points in a field of 11 teams. Middlebury won the meet with 217 points.
The Elis had 10 individual top-three finishes, including four first-place medals. The 4×100-meter team also finished first.
Perhaps Yale’s best success came in field events, where Yale won all three events that it participated in. In the shot put, Karleh Wilson ’16 took first with a throw of 14.34m, more than three meters further than the second-place finisher, and teammate Elle Brunsdale ’15 finished sixth in the same event. Alisha Jordan ’15 beat out the field in the long jump by one centimeter with a 5.19m leap. Finally, the Elis placed two athletes in the top three of the pole vault, won by Catherine Shih ’15 with a height of 3.55m.
“We had a number of great first-place finishes in the field events,” Brunsdale said. “Our team took advantage of the beautiful weather and kicked off the outdoor season with some very strong performances, and it’s only up from here.”
On the track, the lone individual first place came from Sydney Cureton ’16 in the 100-meter dash. Her time of 12.09 seconds was more than three-tenths of a second faster than the second-place finisher. Katerra Logan ’17 took third in the event with a time of 12.47.
In the 400-meter dash, Emily Cable ’15 finished second with a time of 55.01, just over a second behind the winner.
The Bulldogs had three runners finish in the top eight in the 800-meter run, with Frances Schmiede ’17 (2:12.83) taking second, Brunsdale (2:18.18) in fifth and Delaney FitzPatrick ’17 (2:19.78) taking eighth.
Two other racers finished in third for Yale: Meredith Rizzo ’17 in the 1,500-meter run and Mackenzie Mathews ’16 in the 100-meter hurdles.
Mathews, alongside Cureton, Cable and Logan, took first in the 4×100-meter relay, beating second-place Southwestern by nearly two seconds with a time of 47.17.
The men’s team, on the other hand, took fifth out of 10 teams with 130.50 points. Navy won the meet with 275.50 points.
The men had three first-place victories, two by individuals and one by a relay team, alongside many other top-three finishes.
One of those first-place finishes came from Paedyn Gomes ’18 in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.52. He finished nearly half a second ahead of the next runner. Daniel Kemp ’15 took fifth in the race with a time of 15.33.
The other individual victory came from James Randon ’17, who led a squad of eight Eli runners in the 800-meter run. He edged out the next-best finisher with a time of 1:54.43.
In the 400-meter dash, Torren Peebles ’17 took third with a time of 49.72. Mario Kranjac ’15 also competed in the event, taking eight with a time of 50.71.
Three Bulldogs competed in the 1,500-meter run. Duncan Tomlin ’16 finished just 0.27 seconds behind the leader, taking second with a time of 3:54.41. Freshmen Ryan Brady ’18 (4:02.05) and Adam Houston ’18 (4:05.16) took 10th and 15th, respectively.
The Eli 4×100-meter relay team, consisting of Peebles, Gomes, Marc-Andre Alexandre ’17 and Dylan Hurley ’15, also took first with a time of 41.68, beating the second-place Middlebury squad by nearly two seconds.
In the field, Mike Koller ’18 took second in the high jump with a jump of 1.90m and Brendan Sullivan ’16 took third in the pole vault with a height of 4.85m.
“I think the team is very focused right now and poised to have a big jump this outdoor season,” Randon said. “The great thing about having a team spring break trip is that we honestly only train and relax for a whole week. We’re all definitely rested and ready to go.”
Both teams have the upcoming weekend off, but action resumes Friday, April 3, as runners will compete at the Sam Howell Invitational in Princeton, the Stanford Invitational and the University of Virginia Invitational.