Just a few weeks after flying cross-country for a training trip in San Diego, California, Yale track and field’s distance squad hit the road again this weekend, jetting off to Raleigh, North Carolina, for its first outdoor meet of the spring.
While many of Yale’s sprinters kicked off their outdoor seasons with impressive showings at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Scoring Meet in San Diego on March 17, the distance runners set their sights on preparing for the rest of the season with some solid workouts. With many of these runners entering their third-straight season of competition — after competing both in cross country and indoor track — they proved this weekend that they are still hungry to continue dropping time and scoring points for the Bulldogs.
“Everyone, top to bottom, has been training hard, and I think Raleigh is just the start of a great season,” Allen Siegler ’20 said. “We have some talented runners, jumpers and throwers competing at the Mark Young Invitational this weekend, and I’m sure they’ll carry the momentum from North Carolina in their events.”
The Elis faced tough competitors all weekend in Raleigh, many of them Power-5 conference schools. Still, the Bulldogs held their own. In the first event of the meet — the 5,000-meter run, three Yale women competed — Jane Miller ’20, a staff reporter for the News, Kelli Reagan ’18 and captain Dana Klein ’18. After taking an impressive third-place finish in the 3,000-meter run at Ivies in February, Klein finished the winter season eager to keep up her momentum in the spring. Despite this weekend’s race being the first 5,000-meter run of her collegiate career, Klein finished 40th out of 136 runners, with a strong time of 16:54.62.
Later in the afternoon, several Bulldogs hit the track for the 1,500-meter run — an event that often comes down to runners attempting to strike the perfect balance of speed, technique and endurance. Five of Yale’s women competed in the 1,500, with the Elis’ top time coming from Melissa Fairchild ’18, who secured a new personal best with a time of 4:30.69. Many of Yale’s men also shattered personal records in the event, including Siegler — who crossed the line in 3:50.72. After an injury sidelined Siegler for all of his rookie spring season, he was excited to finally compete outdoors again.
“I was very happy with how the race went,” Siegler said. “Raleigh Relays was my first outdoor race since high school, so it felt great to be racing competitively again.”
The race also showcased the potential of several of Yale’s younger runners, many of whom have made significant progress over the course of their first year. Sevanne Ghazarian ’21 was the Bulldogs’ second-fastest runner in the 1,500-meter run this weekend, a finish that comes as no surprise considering her success throughout her rookie year. Ghazarian earned First-Team All-Ivy honors in her first cross-country season at Yale, and also was a key piece in the Elis’ distance-medley relay team that finished third at the indoor Ivy Heps. Rookies Will Laird ’21 and Cameron Wyman ’21 also set new personal records for the men’s team in the 1,500-meter run this weekend.
The highlights of the weekend came from two Yale athletes who have consistently proven to be premier runners in the Ivy League and at the national level. Trevor Reinhart ’19 and Andrea Masterson ’19 — both of whom have competed at NCAA National Championship meets — produced phenomenal performances in Raleigh. Reinhart placed second in the 1,500-meter run, less than a second behind Liberty’s Colin Schultz. Reinhart’s time was less than a second slower than his career personal best time of 3:44.52, and more than five seconds faster than his time in the same event at the 2017 Raleigh Relays.
“Despite my race being tactically unsound, I’m pretty happy with how the race played out,” Reinhart said. “I was able to hold my own amongst competitors who I previously deemed out of reach last year.”
After a season of indoor training and shorter races, Masterson returned this weekend to her specialty event — the 10,000-meter run — and did not disappoint. The junior secured a new personal best time of 34:22.78, 26 seconds faster than her former personal record.
After competing at cross-country nationals last fall, Masterson is already making strides toward potentially adding a trip to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Track and Field National Championships later this spring. According to Masterson, her race in Raleigh solidified her qualification to the NCAA Regionals meet in Tampa, Florida, which will serve as an opportunity to compete against some of the country’s best fighting for a chance to run in Eugene.
“The biggest factor in my training for the [10,000-meter run] has been consistency — getting in consistent weekly mileage, running consistent workouts and keeping a consistent routine,” Masterson said. “Raleigh was a great racing opportunity because it allowed me to just follow the pack and lock into pace, rather than having to run it on my own.”
With the first outdoor meets of the season complete, the Bulldogs now have a sense of where they’ll need to improve as the season progress. Yale will compete in full-force — with its field athletes, distance runners and sprinters all in action — this upcoming weekend at the Mark Young Invitational.
Yale will host the event at the Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Complex, with events beginning at 11 a.m. on April 7.
Ellen Margaret Andrews | firstname.lastname@example.org