On Saturday, Yale’s track and field teams headed to Hanover, New Hampshire for their first meet of the indoor season, where both the women’s and men’s teams brought home third place out of three.

On both the men’s and women’s side, Dartmouth came in first place by a wide margin, followed by Columbia University, with Yale coming in closely behind. In the men’s competition, Dartmouth College scored 86 points, twice that of Columbia’s 43 points, and Yale came in narrowly in third with 41. On the women’s side of events, Dartmouth finished with 91 points, nearly doubling Columbia’s 46 points, and the Elis again close behind with 44 of their own. 

“The first meet back from break is challenging for our athletes as they have all dealt with training challenges during their time away,” Coach David Shoehalter wrote to the News. “Our first meet gives everyone a chance to get back into a competitive mode, and for us as coaches to assess what areas need focus in the practices ahead. We had some very good opening performances across all event groups. We are now looking for more consistency and I am confident that as the season progresses we will see more and more of our team step up their game.”

Noting that this was only the first meet back, the coaches emphasized their overall confidence in their teams’ ability this season. In the first meet of the year back in December, there were strong performances across the board for both teams. Now, having only just begun the indoor season, the coaches expect consistent improvement.

Coach Shoehalter attributes this confidence to intense practices, dedicated training and great facilities at home in New Haven.

“Our facilities here at Yale are top notch and while the team is away, many of them don’t have access to comparable situations,” Shoehalter wrote to the News. “Our practices have been going great, and as the team continues to work, we are going to improve week to week.”

On the men’s side, the competition was marked by four first place finishes. Matt Appel ’24 had the best showing in the shot put thanks to a 16.95m throw, while Brian Di Bassinga ’26 landed the best in triple jump at 14.85m triple jump. Austin Montini ’24 placed first in the 800m run, coming in with a time of 1:55.96, and Leo Brewer ’25 took the top spot in the 3000m run at 8:23.09.

Especially notable was Di Bassinga, taking his second gold medal in the triple jump in his second collegiate meet. When asked about long-term goals this season, Di Bassinga set his sights high.

“This season I want to really focus on trying to beat my past self,” Di Bassinga wrote to the News. “My goal is to break the school record by the end of the indoor season. I found that setting goals and focusing on my own progression helps me take care of myself and take care of business on meet day.”

As for the women’s team, the competition was marked by two first place individual finishes as well as one relay. Eileen Yang ’24 claimed first place in pole vault, clearing a height of 3.55m, while Kyra Pretre ’24 claimed first in the 800m dash with a time of 2:14.06. The Elis also won the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:49.57, featuring Peyton Parker ’25, Molly Harding ’26, Samantha Friborg ’23 and Aliya Boshnak ’23.

Although the Elis did not take home any victories in distance events this weekend, Drake Prince ’24 explained that the runners, many of whom were competing in their first meet since cross country season, are focused on strength and conditioning right now, with speed and personal bests to come later.

“Training so far this season has been pretty high volume and strength focused, so as the season progresses and we hope to peak for indoor heps, our training will drop in volume and focus more on speed,” Prince wrote to the News. “I think a big approach the distance team is having this season is we’re not necessarily trying to chase fast times, we simply want to put ourselves in position to win at every race. The faster times will come as the season continues.”

This weekend, the Elis will head to Cambridge on Saturday to face off against two more Ivy League rivals, Harvard University and Princeton University.