Several members of the men’s and women’s track teams excelled this weekend at the IC4A and ECAC Indoor Championships in Boston.
The IC4A and ECAC Championships marked the final indoor meet for almost all of the team’s athletes, and came after last week’s Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships, in which the women finished in eighth and the men in fourth — their highest placing since 2008, when they came in third. Though the Bulldogs qualified 29 total athletes for the championship, only nine competed during the weekend. Two men’s athletes, Andre Ivankovic ’17 and Austin Laut ’19, placed in the top 10 of their respective events, and Sydney Holmes ’20 broke a school record in the 60-meter hurdles.
“This weekend was a great weekend to wrap up the our indoor season for the men’s and women’s team,” Laut said. “Altogether, both teams have a great season to look forward to outdoors. I think that it will be important for us to remember that we aren’t starting over as we enter the new season; rather, we are continuing the great season that we have had thus far.”
Holmes, who has been running well in the 60-meter hurdles this season, ran an 8.71-second time in her semi-final qualifying race on Saturday to break the record set in 2015 by Mackenzie Mathews ’16. Holmes repeated her time to earn a spot in the finals.
On Sunday, Holmes raced to an eighth-place finish with a time of 8.78 seconds, finishing a spot higher than the one she qualified in. The performance was Holmes’ first ECAC championship.
“When I saw the clock after I crossed the finish line in the first round, I felt so, so blessed,” Holmes said. “It was an amazing feeling to finally see the hours of hurdling and drilling — and a lot of falling — pay off. I spent a lot of time fine-tuning and tweaking my technique in the last few weeks to prepare, and it worked out for the best.”
The women saw impressive results from their 4×800 relay team, which includes Calleigh Higgins ’18, Arianna Lord ’20, Gabrielle Rinne ’19 and Delaney FitzPatrick ’17.
In the qualifying round, the team ran a time of 9:04.75, good enough for third in the heat and a spot in the finals. The next day, they shaved three seconds off of their time en route to a sixth-place, 9:01:15 finish.
“Over the past few years, we’ve chosen to focus on relays since it’s fun to take advantage of energy that can be drawn from a team in a sport generally so individualized,” FitzPatrick said. “As far as our performance today, I think we gave it everything we had. We ran three seconds faster than our preliminary time, which was the main goal–earning a medal in the process, was just icing on the cake.”
On the men’s side, Laut vaulted his way to an impressive runner-up performance in the pole vault. Laut, who finished fourth at the IC4As last year and at Heps a week ago, reached the 5.15-meter mark, only one of three athletes to surpass five meters at the meet.
Ivankovic finished second in the 3000-meter at Heps last week, behind only fellow teammate James Randon ’17 for a Yale one-two finish. At the IC4As, Ivankovic competed in the mile, qualifying for the final, where he placed seventh with a time of 4:08.21, just more than a second behind his personal best.
Vincent Vaughns ’20 qualified for the finals on Saturday in the 200-meter dash, running a time of 21.78, but he did not compete in the finals. Jake Hoops ’18 placed in 22nd for the shot put, throwing 14.77 meters.
The IC4A and ECAC Indoor Championships as the track team’s last event of the indoor season. Only Frances Schmiede ’17 advanced to the NCAA National Championship, where she will compete on March 10.
For the rest of the athletes, this meet and Heps signal the end of a successful season for both teams, which will be anticipating strong results in the outdoors. The men, who boast nine All-Ivy athletes, will look to see if they can improve on their fourth-place finish at indoor Heps, while the women strive to move further up the standings after their eighth-place finish last weekend.
“The program is definitely moving in the right direction, and our dedication can be seen from our multiple individual Ivy League champions all the way to the number of freshman we had make finals and score points for the team,” Vaughns said. “Finishing fourth in the league is a great improvement, but I believe we can finish higher if we can put all the pieces together for outdoor season and stay healthy.”