In their third meet of the new year, the Yale men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Cambridge last weekend for a much-anticipated matchup against conference rivals Harvard and Princeton in the annual HYP meet. Although both Yale squads finished 3rd in the competition, many Elis had impressive showings in both individual and relay events.
In the women’s competition, star long-distance runner Andrea Masterson ’19 — who attended the NCAA National Championships last fall — took down the rest of the field in the 3,000-meter run, clocking a time of 9:34.13, the best performance in the event by any Ivy League runner this season. Masterson’s win was a testament to her versatility, as throughout her career, she has been one of the Ancient Eight’s best runners in the 6,000- and 10,000-meter runs, as well.
“Being able to represent Yale on the track is such an honor,” Masterson said. “Yale track has such a strong legacy, and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. The camaraderie on the team is really special, and it makes training with and competing for the team such a joy.”
Masterson was not the only Bulldog to shine in the meet, as several of Yale’s athletes also had notable performances throughout the day. High jumper Olivia Mooney ’20 lept to a first-place finish in her event, edging out Princeton’s Kayla Dobies with a jump of 1.65 meters. On the track, sprinter Lilly Enes ’20 was excellent out of the blocks in the 60-meter dash, taking third place with a 7.70-second showing.
Yale’s sole female pole vaulter, Erin Gerardo ’21, continued to build on a strong start to her rookie campaign, finishing second after clearing the bar at 12-01.5 feet. While Gerardo’s jump marked the best performance by a Yale female pole vaulter in six years, the first-year vaulter is hoping to work her way back to matching her career personal best jump — 12-06 feet — and soon setting a new personal best mark.
“I was pretty pleased with my jumping,” Gerardo said. “It was the second time I had cleared [12-01.5 feet] this season so it definitely gives me confidence in my ability to be consistent and now I can work towards continuing this consistency and hopefully jumping even higher.”
In addition to strong individual performances, the Elis were even more impressive in a pair of relay events — the 4×880- and 4×440-yard relays. The 4×880-yard cohort was made up of team captain Dana Klein ’18, Sevanne Ghazarian ’21, Calleigh Higgins ’18 and Katherine Raphael ’18. In what turned into a thrilling event, the Bulldogs captured victory over Princeton, winning by just a hundredth of a second.
While the longer relay was stacked with three highly experienced senior runners, the 4×440 yard relay team consisted of four first years and sophomores, three of whom are first-year runners. Based on their performance, however, it was clear the younger runners were not phased by the pressure of the moment and their lack of collegiate experience. Addison Coy ’21, Emma Osborne ’21, Lauren Drysch ’21 and Enes delivered a fantastic race, and finished second to Harvard with a superb time of 3:51.22.
“Training at Yale has been a lot more team oriented than from before I arrived,” Coy said. “There is a great amount of unsaid encouragement on the track when others are running the same workout, and getting through them together helps make it fun. The workouts tailored to each runner capitalize on their strengths and I am looking forward to seeing the team improve in all of the different races.”
Entering Sunday’s meet, Yale’s men team had its work cut out for it. The Elis faced the defending Ivy League champions in Princeton, as well as last season’s fourth-place team in Harvard. While the Tigers and the Crimson continue to boast elite rosters, as was evident in their performances this weekend, the Elis still held their own in the competition.
The Bulldogs shined in various events, but perhaps most notably in the 200-meter dash, where three Elis finished in the top four. Second-place finisher Kyle Macauley ’20 was just 0.15 seconds from breaking 22 seconds in the event. Three Bulldogs — Macauley, Vincent Vaughns ’20 and Alex Young ’20 — finished in the top-six in the 60-meter dash, with Vaughns taking second and matching his personal best time of 6.88 seconds in the event.
“As a team, I think that the HYP meet was a great tune-up for [the Ivy Heps meet],” Vaughns said. “We saw a lot of good things such as people fighting to the lines, but we also saw places where we fell short. Many of the winners of events were decided by seconds or inches, and it shows us how important it will be for us to stay focused and make sure we want it more than the other teams in the upcoming meets.”
Yale also fielded several runners in the 3,000-meter run and snagged the top two spots. Trevor Reinhart ’19 — who competed in the NCAA Championships last spring — finished first with a time of 8:10.38, the ninth-best mark in Yale history, and continued to prove himself as the Elis’ top weapon in the distance events.
“This meet gave us a great approximation of where we are mere weeks away from Ivy League Champs,” distance runner Nick Dahl ’21 said. “The result serves as an effective impetus as we enter the final block of training for the season, and gives us the motivation to squeeze everything we can out of each practice. Finishing third is not ideal, but it may have been exactly what we need right now to bring focus to the track every day.”
The Bulldogs will head to Staten Island, New York this weekend for the Villanova Invitational. The meet kicks off at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Center at 4 p.m. on Feb. 3.
Ellen Margaret Andrews | firstname.lastname@example.org