Ivy League foes Yale and Harvard set aside their rivalry and teamed up this past Saturday, as their men’s and women’s track teams faced off against the Achilles Club, composed of athletes from Oxford and Cambridge, for the biennial Transatlantic Series. The Bulldogs and the Crimson proved to be the better team in the meet’s 46th edition, defeating their British counterparts 24–16.
The Yale squad held their weight on their home turf, with the Yale men tallying nine points and the women providing four. The Bulldogs recorded 13 first-place finishes on the day, including a record-breaking run by Sydney Holmes ’20 and a career best performance from captain Marc-André Alexandre ’17.
“[The meet] went very well for the school,” Alexandre said. “Overall, it was just a really great team performance — it’s nice to see. It also prepares us for the next few weeks on the road leading up to Heps.”
Alexandre set the pace for the men’s side, recording the second-fastest 100-meter dash time in Yale program history. The captain’s 10.58 time, which came just a few weeks after Vincent Vaughns ’20 set the all-time record in the event with a 10.55-second time, netted Alexandre the Pat Liles Award for most outstanding performer. Vaughns also scored a point for Harvard-Yale by winning the 200-meter dash with the Ivy League’s second-fastest time this season of 21.38 seconds.
Paedyn Gomes ’18, Kyle Macauley ’20, Vaughns and Alexandre took home first in the men’s 4×100 relay. Gomes added to the scoreboard by winning his solo event, the 110-meter hurdles, while teammate Austin Loewen ’17 grabbed second place. Alex McIntyre ’19 rounded out the men’s sprinters by winning the 400-meter dash, besting Achilles’ Samuel Day by nearly two seconds.
On the women’s end, Holmes continued her standout rookie season with a program-best 14.43 time in the 100-meter hurdles, edging out the previous Bulldog record by 0.01 seconds. Saturday’s win represented Holmes’ second record of the year, as she broke the program’s 60-meter hurdle record during the indoor season.
“It was pretty funny because I had no idea that my time had broken the record at first, but it was a both a blessing and a pleasant surprise to have done it,” Holmes said. “The unique and historic atmosphere of the meet combined with setting a new record definitely made for an unforgettable weekend.”
Though the women’s sprinters failed to earn any points, several underclassmen had chances to prove themselves. Alexandra Lee ’19 set a personal best time of 12.34 in a third-place finish in the 100-meter dash, and Uzo Biosah ’20 recorded a 12.24-second time in her debut performance for the Elis.
In the distance events, James Randon ’17 was the men’s only scorer, winning the 800-meter run in 1:54.32. Meanwhile, the women’s distance squad scored three points for Yale, all by seniors. Meredith Rizzo ’17 won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, after a three-year hiatus from the event, and Frances Schmiede ’17 continued her dominance in the 800-meter run, edging out her opponents by 0.02 seconds. The senior women ended the running events on a high note, with Emily Waligurski ’17 taking home the Bulldog victory in the mile run.
The men also took home points in the jumps and pole vault, highlighted by Austin Laut’s ’19 win in the pole vault and a pair of victories by Bruno Jednacak ’20 and Jimmy Shih ’19 in the long jump and triple jump, respectively.
On the day, Yale found great success, contributing over half of Harvard-Yale’s points en route to the team’s fourth consecutive win over Achilles. However, as several of the athletes including Alexandre and Shih noted, the meet was more than an average competition.
“This meet is about unifying people of different backgrounds under a shared passion for track and field,” Shih said. “We spent far more time off the track getting to know one another … than we did competing on the track. In the end, we all met and learned more about [competitors] from across the pond.”
Though competing for the same side this weekend, the Bulldogs and the Crimson will turn to face each other at Harvard this Saturday.