The Yale men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to New York this Friday to compete against two storied Ivy League rivals at the annual HYP tri-meet. Facing some of the toughest competition seen all year — the Harvard women and Princeton men won last year’s Ivy Heptagonal Championships — Yale took third place in both meets while Princeton claimed victory in both.
While Yale as a whole only managed four first-place finishes across both men’s and women’s, the individual victories themselves proved to be historic accomplishments. On the men’s side, captain Brendan Sullivan ’16 set a new Yale record in the pole vault by launching himself 5.18 meters and winning the event. Women’s distance runner Frances Schmiede ’17 saw similar success, etching her name into the Yale record books with a winning mile time of 4:38.87. The junior is currently the third fastest miler in the nation.
“My coach [Amy Gosztyla] and I knew that this could be a fast race and that I just needed to trust my body and go with the pace,” Schmiede said. “We went out a bit slower than 4:40 pace, but by the second lap we were a little bit under pace so I knew it was going to be what we had anticipated.”
Sullivan’s record-breaking performance put him second among Ivy pole vaulters for the season and top 30 in the nation.
The senior eclipsed his previous indoor personal best by 0.18 meters and narrowly bested the Yale record, held by Jesse Stern ’97, by just 1.25 inches.
“Brendan has always shown signs that there were some big jumps coming,” head coach David Shoehalter said. “He’s been relatively healthy and that has allowed him to train consistently. I think both [he and Schmiede] have more in the tank.”
The other first-place finish on the men’s side came in the 4-by-400 relay. A squad consisting of Connor Hill ’19, Chandler Crusan ’17, Paedyn Gomes ’18 and Gregory Campbell ’19 not only edged out Princeton for first place by four hundredths of a second, but also recorded the 14th fastest time in Yale history.
Short-distance standouts included Gomes, who followed up his first-place performance in the 60-meter hurdles last week against Columbia and Dartmouth with a second-place finish this weekend. In addition, Campbell and Crusan placed third and fourth in the 400-meter dash, respectively, while Alexander McDonald ’16 secured a third-place finish and new personal best in the 500-meter run.
This meet was also the season debut of many upperclassmen distance runners for the men’s team, among them Andre Ivankovic ’17, who placed third in the mile with a personal best time of 4:11.12. Another Yale personal best came in the 1000-meter run, when Matt Chisholm ’18 impressed with a second-place finish.
As a unit, the Yale men narrowly missed out on second place, tallying 33 points while Harvard scored 35 and Princeton dominated with 112 points.
“Obviously we would’ve liked to have beaten Harvard, but given that a few of our top runners weren’t competing, I think we have a great shot at beating them at Heps,” Sullivan said. “As long as everyone remains as focused as they have, I see us doing well at the championship meet.”
Schmiede’s performance in the mile was the primary highlight for the Yale women, who finished well behind second place with 28 points compared to Harvard’s 62 and Princeton’s 90.
Schmiede, who had not competed in the mile since her freshman season, finished almost a full second faster than the previous record, formerly belonging to Kate Grace ’11, a four-time All-American who now runs professionally.
“It’s really cool knowing it was held by Kate Grace, as she has been such a trailblazer for Yale track and field and has gone on to have an amazing career,” Schmiede said. “She ran 4:28 in the mile at The Armory last weekend, which is very inspiring.”
Schmiede, who won both events she competed in last weekend, then continued her perfect indoor season in the 4-by-800 relay event alongside teammates Meredith Rizzo ’17, Katherine Raphael ’18 and Shannon McDonnell ’16. With a time of 8:54.17, the group won the race and posted the fifth fastest time in Yale history.
Other highlights for the women included Dana Klein ’18 grabbing second place in the 3000-meter run, followed by fellow Bulldogs Kelli Reagan ’18 and Andrea Masterson ’19 in third and fourth, respectively.
“The women’s middle-distance and distance group continues to impress,” Shoehalter said. “We still have work to do across the board at the Heps, but I’m confident that we are on the way to some very good things.”
Outside of the longer-distance events, McDonnell achieved a second-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:09.12, marking the 15th fastest time in the nation thus far for that event.
After two straight weekends of competing outside Connecticut, the Elis will return to Coxe Cage this Friday and Saturday for the Giegengack Invitational.