Both the Yale men’s and women’s track and field teams have exceeded expectations this winter, setting their sights on victory and remaining on pace to top the Ivy League.
Without a doubt, Marcus Woods ’23 has been the standout for the men’s team. On Jan. 25 at the Terrier Invitational, the first-year sprinter broke the school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.37 seconds. Two weeks later, he demonstrated his rapid pace in front of rivals Harvard and Princeton, breaking his own record by reducing his time to 21.33 seconds. Once again, on Feb. 15, Woods improved on his 200-meter time by nearly two-tenths of a second, flying over the finish line after 21.15 seconds.
“The season has been phenomenal so far,” Woods said. “So many people have running personal records, and we’ve been scoring significantly higher as a team than in previous years. The focus has to be to just maintain our current path. If we all stay healthy, keep training hard, and keep the energy up, the other teams will crumble under our might.”
Under the leadership of Andrew Rochon ’21, the men’s team has also excelled during field events. Like Woods, Rochon has been feeding off his past successes. In the past few weeks, his distances in the weight throw and shot put have been consistent; Rochon has placed highly in both events. Last week, at the Giegengack Invitational, he set a personal record in the shot put with a distance of 15.45 meters. His ability to bring in points for the team could be crucial for the Bulldogs’ overall score during the upcoming Ivy League Championships.
The women’s team has had one of their best indoor seasons in recent years. Against Dartmouth and Columbia, the first scored meet of the season, the team showed its potential, placing second overall with a handful of victories. During a tight meet against Harvard and Princeton, the Bulldogs performed well but fell short of their opponents. Although the athletes knew they had more to show, there were many positive takeaways from the day.
From an individual standpoint, Jane Miller ’20 has been important to the team’s success. In the 3000-meter, she finished first overall, setting a new personal record in the process. Miller is closing out her final season in style. Teammate Erin Gerardo ’21 has also had an outstanding season. Her career-best 3.90-meter pole vault is the second-highest of all time at Yale.
“The biggest meet of our indoor season is coming up in two weekends and that is the Ivy League Championship, or ‘Heps’ as we call it,” Gerardo said. “We won’t be competing between then and now, and so in order to prepare for that we need to just make sure we are keeping our bodies in check while maintaining a high level of practice. At this point a lot of the work for the indoor season has been done, so it will be important to just trust our performances up until this point in order to have confidence going forward.”
The next two weeks will be important for both teams’ performances. Competing against the rest of the Ivy League is the climax of the season, and it appears that all the athletes are mentally preparing themselves for their events.
On both teams, every member has stepped up, eager to play their part in a great season.
“The indoor facilities are much closer quarters than the outdoor tracks and so the energy is usually incredibly high, which makes it super exciting to compete for Yale,” Gerardo said.
The Ivy League Championships will take place in Ithaca on Feb. 29.
Rehan Melwani | firstname.lastname@example.org