After 35 of 37 events, the Yale men’s track team and Dartmouth’s Big Green were inseparable. The day would be decided by the final two events of the YDC tri-meet, and the Bulldogs did not disappoint.
Every point was crucial to the team last Saturday, and the runners were determined to win. Their strong start helped the team build momentum throughout the day, and a final push in the 4×400 race allowed the Bulldogs to cross the finish line ahead of both Dartmouth and Columbia. The meet was close, but the victory was convincing.
“Across every event, our team was competitive and performed at a high level,” senior captain Kyle Macauley ’20 said. “We had to have a near-perfect meet for us to win overall and we were able to do so. Our guys really fed off the momentum we created early on and that helped us down the stretch.”
The team was behind by two points with only the 4x800m and the 4x400m races to go. Columbia was out of contention by this time, but the Bulldogs needed to beat Dartmouth in both events in order to win.
Although the 4x800m team did not win the race, they edged Dartmouth out for second place, taking the lead 63–62 with one event to go. The 4x400m lineup was not comprised of just upperclassmen. Rather, the Bulldogs sent two first years, a sophomore and a senior to ensure the win. Macauley established a quick lead after the first leg, both Marcus Woods ’23 and Harry Grindle ’23 stretched the gap, and sophomore Juma Sei ’22 confidently won the race, crowning the Bulldogs victorious. But the team is hungry for more.
“Our performance at YDC showcased the talent we have across the board, as well as our ability to compete in pressure situations,” Macauley said. “We all have room for improvement individually and that will be our focus as the season progresses. While the victory at YDC was a big step forward for us, it really does not mean much if we do not continue to develop. Our competitive mentality is in a great spot as of now, but improving our consistency and race strategies will help us in the future.”
The Yale women’s track team also excelled on Saturday, with solid performances across many events. According to Kayley DeLay ’21, this meet was more about finding a rhythm for the rest of the season than about winning.
Nevertheless, the Bulldogs dominated some events, and some of the athletes even set personal records. Libby McMahon ’22 won the 200m dash with her new best time of 25.38 seconds. Similarly, DeLay calmly strode over the finish line after 2:54.90 minutes, claiming first in the 1,000m run. Finally, Jane Miller ’20 won the 3,000m run, breaking her previous record with a time of 9:46.24 minutes.
“We had a fantastic overall team performance this past Saturday and were thrilled with our team finish,” DeLay said. “Everyone ran, threw and jumped with absolute grit and determination to score as many points total for the team. And the results showed! This next meet will be less focused on our team finish and more on our own individual performances.”
The runners are hoping to build upon their recent success this Friday in Boston when they battle Boston University.
Rehan Melwani | firstname.lastname@example.org