Both the Yale men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Hanover, New Hampshire this past Saturday to compete against Dartmouth and Columbia in the Bulldogs’ first Ivy League meet of the season. With many underclassmen making their season debuts in the meet, Yale ended up taking third place on both sides.
Highlighted by three first-place finishes — two of which involved Paedyn Gomes ’18, who won the 60-meter hurdles and was a member of the winning 4-by-400 relay team — the men finished with 42 points, behind Dartmouth’s 88 and Columbia’s 50. Though the Eli women came out on top in five of the 17 events, they managed just 39 points overall, while Dartmouth posted 89 and Columbia finished with 53. The women’s performance included first-place finishes in all events 1,000 meters or longer, as well as a win in the 4-by-800 relay.
“Our women’s middle-distance and distance group had a great meet,” head coach David Shoehalter said. “They have continued to build on a successful cross country season.”
Calling the event both “exciting and exhausting,” Mike Koller ’18 worked hard for a victory in the men’s high jump event to round out the men’s list of wins. He at first tied a Dartmouth jumper, with both reaching a final height of exactly 1.94 meters.
In a jump-off to determine the winner, Koller barely bested his previous result, finishing with a height of 1.95 meters. His Dartmouth opponent remained at 1.94, giving the win to Koller and five points to the Bulldogs.
“When it comes down to a jump-off, each jump can be the difference between a win and a loss,” Koller said. “My body was tired, but I knew I needed to stay focused and trust my technique.”
Gomes’ win in the 60-meter hurdles was equally tight, and required the sophomore to break a personal best in order to edge out a Dartmouth opponent.
After running the race in 8.32 seconds during his preliminary heat, Gomes posted a time of 8.15 seconds in the event final, narrowly besting the 8.16 time from Dartmouth’s Alec Eschholz.
“I don’t think there was any particular key to the race other than its smoothness,” Gomes said on his performance. “It was a close race and I was only focusing on competing with the people around me. That helped me keep the race clean.”
Just after the victory, Gomes joined Connor Hill ’19, Chandler Crusan ’17 and Gregory Campbell Jr. ’19 for the 4-by-400 relay, which the Yale team won with a time of 3:21.71, just 0.37 seconds ahead of a Columbia squad.
Other point scorers for Yale included Carl Mansson ’18 and Jimmy Shih ’19, who placed second and third in the long jump, respectively. Torren Peebles ‘17 also saw success, running the 200-meter dash in 22.86 seconds to place second in the field.
On the women’s side, Dana Klein ’18 placed first in the mile and set a new personal best with a time of 4:52.24. Frances Schmiede ’17, the top finisher for Yale women’s cross country at last fall’s Ivy Heptagonal Championships, took the crown in the 1000-meter race, with a time of 2:51.24. She, along with Klein, Katherine Raphael ’18 and Meredith Rizzo ’17 then won the 4-by-800 relay event.
Continuing their dominance in distance events, several Bulldogs competed in the 3000-meter race, among them Elizabeth McDonald ’16 and Kelli Reagan ’18, who snagged the top two finishes. In the middle-distance events, Shannon McDonnell ’16 narrowly missed placing first in the 500-meter race, while Emma Lower ’19 also claimed second in the 800-meter run.
The fifth and final first-place result for the Eli women came in the shot put, where Kate Simon ’17 hoisted the shot put 12.50 meters — a full 0.65 meters farther than the second-place finisher.
Yale also saw strong performances in the two 60-meter competitions, with Sydney Cureton ’16 coming in second in the dash and Mackenzie Mathews ‘16 taking third in the hurdles.
The Bulldogs now look forward to this Friday, when they travel to New York to compete against even more stout Ivy League opponents. This time, competition will come in the form of Harvard and Princeton, both of which brought home Ivy League championships last year. The Princeton men were Ivy Heps champions in both indoor and outdoor track, while the Harvard women did the same in 2014–15.
“Racing against Ivy League schools is all about competition,” said McDonald. “These girls are the rivals we know by name and are training to beat.”