This past Friday marked the track and field teams’ first Ivy League outing of the indoor season, as the men took home second-place honors and the women finished third at the Yale-Dartmouth-Columbia meet in New York.
Strong performances by younger members of the teams bolstered Yale’s overall standings at the conference meets. Aided as well by the debut of many of the team’s upperclassmen, the men were able to carry eight first-place finishes to a score of 70 points. Though the Elis were unable to catch up to Dartmouth’s 89 points, they finished comfortably ahead of host Columbia by a 48-point margin. The women, meanwhile, concluded their day with four fist-place finishes en route to a 39-point result, only six behind the runners-up Lions but 57 behind the Big Green.
“[The meet was] our first opportunity to compete against other Ivy League teams this year,” thrower Luke Persichetti ’17 said. “We know that we now have the talent to be a top-three team in this conference; we just need to stay focused and learn from these next few crucial meets.”
The men’s sprinters shone in New York, with the unit taking first in every event but one. Captain and sprinter Marc-André Alexandre ’17 made his season debut, blazing his way to a first-place 22.07-second finish in the 200-meter dash. His performance was matched by sprinter Vincent Vaughns ’20, who placed second in a photo finish for the freshman’s Ivy League career debut. In the 60-meter dash, another freshman, Kyle Macauley ’20, recorded the only sub-seven-second finish with a first-place time of 6.98 seconds.
The Yale men also put together a strong showing in the relays. In the 4×400-meter relay, the Bulldog A team won with a time of 3:19.07 while the B team took third seven seconds later. The Elis also won the 4×800-meter relay, finishing 0.01 seconds ahead of Columbia in 7:47.24. The Bulldogs’ distance runners contributed to the team’s success as well, as James Randon ’17 and Thomas Gmür ’18 came in second and third in the men’s 1000-meter run.
The Eli women fared very well in distance, with Frances Schmiede ’17 and Emily Waligurski ’17 placing first and third, respectively, in the 800-meter run. Meredith Rizzo ’17 claimed second in the 1000-meter run, and Gemma Shepherd ’20 snagged fourth in the same event. Andrea Masterson ’19 recorded a 4:57.77 mile time to edge all competition but Dartmouth senior Helen Schlachtenhaufen, while the distance runners capped off competition with a win in the 4×800-meter relay.
Both Yale squads took advantage in the throwing events, as Columbia did not score any throwers. Jacob Hoops ’18 won the shot put with a 16.10-meter throw, while Persichetti netted second place in the weight throw. Women’s captain Kate Simon ’17 also recorded a pair of impressive finishes, placing first in shot-put with a 12.98-meter heave and second in the weight throw eclipsing 16.73 meters.
“I think we’re in a great position to get as many competitors on the podium as possible,” Simon said. “If we can stay healthy and focused, I know our team will have some great performances this season.”
The men’s jumpers contributed more strong performances to the afternoon at the Armory in New York, highlighted by that of Bruno Jednacak ’20, whose 7.13-meter long jump put him in first by a large margin. The Bulldogs took home second, third and fourth places in the high jump, while Austin Laut ’19 earned extra points for the Elis with a silver finish in the pole vault.
The women dominated the high jump, as freshmen Elizabeth Adelson ’20 and Olivia Mooney ’20 took first and second place with identical 1.63-meter leaps. Rachel Wofford ’17 added a fourth-place in the long jump to keep the Elis in the scoring.
Despite still entering the track season as outsiders looking in at the Ivy League championship pursuit, the outcome of Friday’s meet was primarily a positive one for the Bulldogs, who improved upon last year’s scoring. The men leapfrogged into second place at the annual meet for the first time since 2013; meanwhile, the women narrowed the gap between themselves and Columbia from last year’s eight to six.
“We now have a more well-rounded team which can score points in almost every discipline,” sprinter Austin Puleo ’17 said. “There is a lot of talent on this team, and as long as everyone does what they are capable of doing, then the season will without a doubt be a major success.”
The track and field teams will now prepare to take on Harvard and Princeton at home this Sunday. The HYP meet will be the Bulldogs’ last Ivy League meet until they participate at the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championships in February.
Both the men and women placed third against Harvard-Princeton last year.