The Yale track and field teams sent runners to meets all over the East Coast, as some Bulldogs competed in Gainesville, Florida at the Florida Relays and others traveled to Princeton to compete in the Sam Howell Invitational.
On Friday and Saturday, the majority of the Elis traveled to the Sam Howell Invitational and competed against some familiar competition, including Brown, Harvard, Penn and Princeton. But five Bulldogs, three women and two men traveled even further south to the University of Florida to race against some of the fastest and toughest competition in the country.
“Good competition breeds great performances, and big meets like the Florida Relays provide an occasion to compete to the best of our abilities,” hurdler Mackenzie Mathews ’16 said. “We gained valuable race experience as we are gearing up for our annual Yale-Harvard dual meet next weekend.”
Mathews was one of the five Bulldogs who competed in Florida. Each of the five sprinters raced against a field of opponents that required heats in the double digits from much bigger schools. Mathews’s time of 14.90 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles was good for 61st in a field of nearly 75 runners.
Sydney Cureton ’16 raced in the 100-meter dash, placing 65th in another huge field of competitors with a time of 12.28 seconds. Emily Cable ’15, the last of Yale’s women sprinters who competed in Florida, placed 50th in a field of 65, running her 400-meter dash in 54.84 seconds.
Two members of the men’s team competed in Florida, with Marc-Andre Alexandre ’17 running in the 400-meter dash and Paedyn Gomes ’18 racing in the 110-meter hurdles. Alexandre, in a field of 70 runners, placed 40th with a time of 48.04 seconds, and Gomes, in a field of 68, placed 59th with a time of 14.89 seconds.
Bulldog distance runners stayed north, competing in Princeton in an unscored meet against Northeast competition. The women’s team had participants in the 800-meter run, the 1,500-meter run, the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run.
Emily Waligurski ’17 led the way for the Bulldog runners in the 800-meter. Her time of 2:12.64, which was good for a personal record, earned her fourth place. Taking fifth and sixth in the 800-meter for the Bulldogs were Frances Schmeide ’17 (2:13.29) and Meredith Rizzo ’17 (2:13.62), respectively.
Six Elis competed in the 1,500-meter run, led by captain Kira Garry ’15, who placed second with a time of 4:27.07 that was also good for a personal best performance. Less than a second behind her was Shannon McDonnell ’16, taking third with a time of 4:27.13.
Two Yale runners raced in the 5,000-meter run, and both came away with personal bests. Rachel Jones ’17 placed 19th with a time of 18:01.82, while Claire Ewing-Nelson ’18 placed 25th with a time of 18:08.19.
Anna Demaree ’15 was Yale’s sole competitor in the 10,000-meter run, taking fourth with a time of 37:12.25.
“There were a number of outdoor personal records at the meet of Friday, and that’s always a great way to start a season,” Waligurski said. “It really showed that everyone is in a great place to start the season, and we are only going to improve from here.”
The men also showed success at Princeton, though they only competed in two events: the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run.
In the 800-meter, James Randon ’17 stole the show, taking first place with a time of 1:53.13, a personal best in the event. Following closely behind him with a time of 1:54.25, Jacob Sandry ’15 ran a personal best and took fifth.
In the 1,500 meter-run, Adam Houston ’18 and Ryan Brady ’18 both set personal records, finishing in 23rd with a time of 3:59.99 and taking 26th with a time of 4:01.17, respectively.
“Jacob Sandry had a breakout race, and it felt great to get everyone running similar distances,” Randon said. “And it always feels good to win.”
The Bulldog teams will be together again next Saturday as both squads head to Cambridge for the annual Yale-Harvard dual meet.