TRACK & FIELD: Yale squad adds three new school records and eight first place wins
With eight victories this past weekend and several personal bests, the track and field team gets ready for the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Courtesy of Sam Rubin '95
With first place wins, a myriad of personal bests and new records, the Bulldogs showed that they are ready for the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track and Field Championships set to take place in two weeks.
This weekend, some Bulldogs made a return to Boston University for the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, while others stayed home for the Giegengack Invitational at Coxe Cage.
At BU, Aliya Boshnak ’23, Sophie Isom ’22, Addison Coy ’22 and Libby McMahon ’22 had great showings once again in their victory in the 4×400 meter relay to the tune of 3:42.34. Last weekend, the Elis ran the fastest time in Yale history for this race.
McMahon came back to Yale with two first place wins, as she also crossed the finish line in 24.14 seconds in the 200 meter race to take the top spot and in the process set a new school record. She previously held the second place on Yale’s all-time list.
“Well, actually, my individual win in the 200m came as a bit of a surprise,” McMahon wrote to the News. “I was seeded in heat 2, and was concentrating on running a personal best and breaking my old record. When Coach Evans told me that I was going to win the whole race, I was almost shocked, but was really excited to win and set a new record all in one race.”
Isom placed 11th in the 400 meter dash with a time of 56.07 seconds. She now holds the third all-time Yale record in this competition.
Samantha Friborg ’23, who placed 11th in the 800 meter race, now holds the second all-time Yale record with a time of 2:05.79 seconds. Friborg is edging close to Kate Grace ’11, who is the current school record holder. Grace ran the 800 meter event at the 2016 Rio Olympics for Team USA.
The senior and cross country All-American Kayley DeLay ’22 placed ninth in the 3000 meter race, setting yet another new school record. With this performance, she broke the mark set by the Olympian Kate O’Neill ’03. DeLay now holds school records for both the 3000 meter and the 5000 meter races.
“Three school records in the last week gives us a good indication that we are progressing well across the board,” David Shoehalter, the director of cross country and track and field, said. “It’s exciting to watch our entire group as they have raised the bar each weekend.”
The men also took the top spot at the BU’s Track & Tennis Center. In the 4×400 meter relay, the Bulldogs crossed the finish line in 3:11.99 seconds. The team was made up of Christopher Colbert ’22, Colin Quinn ’25, Simon Jupp ’25 and Juma Sei ’22. Colbert ran the fastest opening leg out of all the teams at 48.13 seconds, and Sei’s split was the fastest of the day at 46.95 seconds. Quinn and Jupp both broke their personal bests.
“Running the four by four was an incredible experience,” Sei said. “I think we had a chip on our shoulder going into the event because the team that ended up coming in third, Southern Connecticut State, is a team that we’d run against in our December meet and at that meet I’d gotten clipped at the line. So it’s just like it was really really exciting to go up against the same guy who I ran against in that leg, you know, a couple months back and not really back down to the couple surges he put in that last lap and run away with a win.”
Friday also saw Jacob Kao ’25 place 16th in the 200 meters with 21.71 seconds, while Colbert placed 21st with a personal best time of 21.76 seconds.
Sei placed fifth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 47.48 seconds. Sei’s time is his new personal best and earned him a place in the record books as the third fastest time in Yale history. Last week, also at BU, Sei placed first in the 500 meter race.
“Particularly I feel as though I have definitely not reached my potential in the event,” the captain said. “And given how jam packed the four was with really fast guys. I’m really trying to go for a fast time, hopefully a school record and see what I can do there. Hopefully also come out with the Ivy championship.”
Back home at Coxe Cage, the Bulldogs brought their best. Highlights included two first place finishes, several new personal bests and once again, a broken record by Robert Miranda ’22.
For the women, the Elis saw three first place finishes — the pole vault, 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash.
Eileen Yang ’24 vaulted her way to a 3.70 meter finish in the pole vault final, and secured the top spot for the Blue and White. With this win, she has finished victorious in three out of four meets this season.
In the 60 meter dash, after placing second in the preliminaries, Ava Thomas ’22 came back to run the fastest time — 7.78 seconds — and took first place for Yale in the finals. This new time is Thomas’s new personal best.
Rookie Mira Thakur ’24 also recorded a new personal best as she crossed the finish line in 25.73 seconds in the 200 meter dash to finish in first. Sydney Kunkler ’24 finished fourth with a time of 27.75 in the same race.
Yale’s track team also had a second place finish by Ella Mainwaring Foster ’24 in the 400 meter dash with a time of 59.12 seconds. First year Arielle Moore ’25 finished in third, clocking in at 59.34 seconds. Both times were new personal records.
“Being on this team has made my experience at Yale all the more enjoyable,” Moore said. “I love the energy each individual brings and how we all contribute to each other’s successes. I’m very lucky to run with such a supportive and talented group who I’m proud to call my friends and role models.”
The Virginia native is a new member of the team, and is looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing her “time drop” along with her teammates.
The day also saw many third place finishes, with Emma Vasen ’22 throwing a new personal best of 17.06 meters in the weight throw. In the same event, Maria Leskovec ’24 also had a new personal best of 15.25 meters — good enough for sixth place.
Sophia Karperos ’24 placed third in the mile run with a new indoor personal record of 5:16:33 seconds.
The all-rookie team of Mainwaring Foster, Moore, Peyton Parker ’25 and Thakur placed third in the 4×400 meters competition with a time of 4:00.35 seconds.
Other Bulldogs took fifth place over this weekend’s events, with Violette Perry ’25 in the shot put, Kunkler in the long jump and Bharathi Subbiah ’24 in the triple jump. Perry’s 13.19 meters is a new personal best. Kunkler also jumped to her personal best of 5.56 meters.
For the men, the weekend’s highlights included Trent Charles ’22, who ran the 60 meter hurdles and is now undefeated at his home turf, Coxe Cage, and Robert Miranda ’22, who broke a 31 year old school record in the 3000 meter race.
In the 60 meter finals, Charles took first place as he crossed the finish line in 6.77 seconds. This was a season best for the Louisiana native. This was Charles’s last time running in Coxe Cage, meaning that he is now officially undefeated at home during his collegiate career in the 60 meter hurdles event. Right behind him, Odera Nweke ’23 placed second and Drew Smith ’25 placed fifth.
In the 3000 meter race, Jim Gibson ‘90 had held the school’s record for 31 years (7:56:49 seconds). On Saturday, Miranda surpassed him with a time of 7:51.91 seconds, and is now the fastest runner of the three-kilometer distance in Yale history. Last weekend, Miranda ran the second fastest time in the school’s history at BU’s Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational.
In the weight throw, Matt Appel ’24 continued his great start to his first season by placing second with a 18.35 meter throw — ahead of all other Ivy League competitors. Jack Dunn ’22 and Andrew Rochon ’21 SOM ’22 placed fifth and seventh respectively. Rochon also placed third in the shot put.
Rookie Zakaria Nfaoui ’25 ran a time of 8.73 seconds and placed third. Odera Nweke ’23 placed fifth in the long jump with 6.84 meters.
“The last two weekends have given us a good indication of where we are as a team,” Shoehalter said. “We’ve shown strength in every event area and continue to rewrite the Yale top 15 lists. With two weeks until Ivy Heps we should be well situated for an exciting championship season.”
After a weekend full of wins, new records and personal bests, the Bulldogs have their sights set on the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York City.