In an annual event that has been a staple of Yale’s and Harvard’s track and field seasons for over 100 years, the two rivals clashed last Saturday, in the Bulldogs’ second-to-last home meet of the season. Despite capturing several event victories throughout the day, both Yale teams fell short in the final tally.
Although the Bulldogs faced windy conditions on Saturday, it was also one of the warmest days of the spring so far, setting up many Elis for strong performances, as nearly all of Yale’s athletes competed. While both Crimson units outlasted the Elis at the end of the day, the Bulldogs posted several fast times and will look to maintain that momentum heading into the final weeks of the season.
“Going into the meet yesterday my main goal was for the entire women’s team to give it our all and leave it all on the track,” sprinter Lillian Enes ’20 said. “We, as a team, definitely met this goal, with many girls achieving personal bests and wins against the Harvard women.”
Yale’s women started the day with impressive showings in the field events, as both pole vaulter Erin Gerardo ’21 and thrower Alladia Patterson ’21 placed highly in their events. Gerardo took first place in the vault with a jump of 3.60 meters, while Patterson tied her collegiate personal best with a winning throw of 13.28 meters in the shot put. Patterson also placed second in the discus throw, setting a new personal best with a throw of 42.94 meters.
On the men’s side, jumper Jimmy Shih ’19 also leapt to victory in the triple jump with a mark of 14.87 meters. Unfortunately, Shih’s jump received more than the legal wind assistance of 2.0 meters per second, so it will not count as a new personal record for the junior. Another highlight of the day in the field events came from pole vaulter Austin Laut ’19, who took down Harvard’s Erick Duffy, with a jump of 5.12 meters.
“Going into the meet, I made sure to focus my efforts on outcompeting any athlete wearing a Crimson jersey,” Laut said. “Being that I was able to overcome being outnumbered 3 to 1, I am very pleased with a victory in my event. To top it all off, it was very promising to have jumped an outdoor personal best as well.”
On the track, both of Yale’s 4×400-meter relay teams captured victories in the first running events of the day. In the women’s race, Yale’s victory came in an unexpected fashion, as a failed Crimson handoff took Harvard out of contention. The men’s race was a much closer battle, but it was the Bulldogs who crossed the line first in just 41.12 seconds.
Yale’s distance runners had several opportunities to compete throughout the day, and many of them raced early on in the 1,500-meter run. While Harvard’s 1,500-meter runners were dominant in the women’s race and finished in the top three spots, Allen Siegler ’20 endured a tough wind throughout the men’s race and still managed to launch a ferocious kick in the last 200 meters to finish just ahead of three Harvard runners.
In the short sprint events, the Bulldogs looked to capitalize on the wind advantage to run some of the fastest times of their careers. Enes — who has competed in nearly every sprint event throughout her career — focused on the shorter 100- and 200-meter events on Saturday, sweeping both fields with impressive times. The Bulldogs’ top sprinter and multi-record holder on the men’s side — Vincent Vaughns ’20 — also bested the rest of the athletes in the 100- and 200-meter events.
“My goals coming into this meet were to win in my events and run quality races,” Vaughns said. “At Yale-Harvard, it’s all about scoring points for the team score. While I would have preferred to run faster races, I’m glad that I was able to come in and contribute.”
Another Yale star athlete to live up to his reputation was middle-distance runner Trevor Reinhart ’19, who won the 800-meter run on Saturday. Early on, Reinhart had the help of Siegler, who acted as a pacer in the event, leading the men through the first 400 meters of the race. Reinhart entered the second lap in first place after Siegler dropped off, and maintained the lead throughout the rest of the race. Reinhart’s 1 minute 51.89 seconds was the best time of his career.
Addison Coy ’21 also had an impressive day for the Bulldogs — winning both the 400-meter hurdle race and the 4×400-meter relay as its first-leg runner. Coy entered the meet having just one 400-meter race under her belt; high-school runners only compete in 300-meter hurdle races, but she adjusted without a hitch, crossing the line on Saturday in a stunning time of 59.78 seconds.
“The transition from the 300-hurdles to the 400-hurdles was definitely something that I was nervous about coming into my first season here,” Coy said. “[Assistant Coach George Evans] was great in helping me train for this longer hurdle race, especially in having me race the 500-meter dash indoors. This race helped to build my endurance so that I could help maintain my speed and form through the last hurdle or two on the homestretch without breaking down.”
Yale units will participate in two meets next weekend — the Virginia Challenge at the University of Virginia and the Jay Carisella Invitational at Northeastern University.
Ellen Margaret Andrews | firstname.lastname@example.org