The Yale men’s and women’s indoor track teams showed significant improvement last Friday against Harvard and Princeton, putting up their best scores in the HYP meet in many seasons.
During the first home meet this season, the men’s team set two new school records. Trenton Charles ’22 flew across the line after only 6.75 seconds; he now holds the school record in the 60m dash. Teammate Marcus Woods ’23 also demonstrated his talent on the track, becoming the fastest ever Yale runner in the 200m sprint with a time of 21.33 seconds. He broke the previous time by only 0.06 seconds. In spite of his record-breaking day, Woods said he is hungry for more.
“Overall the meet was fantastic,” Woods said. “I’m very proud of the team. In addition to good performances, we did a really good job at supporting each other throughout, and that energy is what’s needed to win championship meets. I’m very grateful I was able to PR in the 60 and 200. They weren’t perfect races, so it’ll be cool to improve even more in the coming weeks.”
Many personal records were set throughout the day. Odera Nweke ’23 jumped 6.97m in the long jump, bringing in three points for the team. In the 400m, Christopher Colbert ’22 ran a new best of 49.33 seconds. Finally, Allen Siegler ’20 and Will Laird ’21 took second and third, respectively, in the 1000m event. In the process of setting a new PR, the former narrowly missed the school record. Meanwhile, Laird shaved three seconds off his previous best.
In the field, Andrew Rochon ’21 continued his good form by winning the weight throw with a toss just under 17 meters. Although he was unable to score in the shot put, his distance still improved.
“I was thrilled that I was able to help out my team by winning the weight throw and excited that I performed well in shot against the best competitors in the league,” Rochon said. “My teammates and I have all the tools we need in order to perform well at HEPS [the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championships], we just need to make sure we’re locked in and ready to go at Cornell in a few weeks.”
In spite of the third-place finish, the women’s team was positive about its performance at Coxe Cage.
Erin Gerardo ’21 was in great form on Saturday, both bringing in points for the team and setting a new personal best. After three attempts at 3.90 meters last week, Gerardo was eager to rise to the challenge, and did just that.
“The meet overall went really well for the team,” Gerardo said. “We have made huge strides in the past year and the meet on Saturday was a great example of that. Ivy League meets like HYP are really about being strong competitors and having the confidence that each individual person can contribute and score in their respective events. This year the score was the closest it’s been in a long time. While the team placing was not exactly what we were hoping for, we can move forward knowing that we are capable of performing at the same level as Harvard and Princeton and hopefully next time come out with a different result.”
In the mile, it was never in doubt that Kayley DeLay ’21 would win. She held her lead from the start of the race and crossed the line after 4:48.07 minutes. Teammate Megan Quimby ’21 finished fourth, just behind DeLay. However, the highlight of the day was the 4x800m event, in which the runners came back from behind to defeat both of the opposing teams. DeLay not only closed the gap, but also passed the Princeton frontrunner. The team finished with a time of 8:53.52.
Men’s captain Kyle Macauley ’20 summed up the day for both teams, articulating past successes and future goals.
“The meet went great from start to finish across all of our event groups,” Macauley said. “We had a lot of energy throughout the meet and I really think that benefited us down the stretch in some close races. This meet was another great learning experience for us and we will use some of the lessons from the day to get better … I think we are in a great spot now, but working on our consistency will be important for our championship meet. Pushing each other in practice will help us stay sharp and in the right mindset to keep competing at a high level.”
The next meet is in Boston this Friday, Feb. 14.
Rehan Melwani | firstname.lastname@example.org