Courtesy of Yale Athletics

On Friday and Saturday, Yale’s track and field teams took a break from team competitions with fellow Ivies to split up and compete in different meets in Boston — one at Boston University, the other at Harvard University.

After two straight weekends competing in three-team Ivy League meets, Yale’s coaches gave the athletes a weekend off from the pressures of team scores and inter-league competition. Out of the athletes who competed, some traveled to Boston University’s Scarlet and White Invitational, while others participated in Harvard’s Crimson Elite meet. Regarding the choices of which team members went where, Coach David Shoehalter explained that the decisions were motivated by the needs of each specific athlete.

“We took athletes to the meets that suit them best,” Coach Shoehalter wrote to the News. “Harvard has very good field event facilities so we took most of our field event athletes there. Boston U has a very fast oval so we took most of our runners there.  We also gave a number of our team the weekend off in order to train and recover from our first two scored meets.”

On the men’s side of events, the field event competitors once again shone brightly. Matt Appel ’24 continued his stellar season with an impressive performance, finishing with a distance of 17.12m in the shot put to earn the gold medal. Chris Ward ’24 took home the silver medal, coming in close  behind with a finish of 16.70m. James Grindle ’25 clocked in another notable finish for the men, dipping under the 22 second mark in the 200 meter dash for the first time this season with a PR of 21.97.

Ward, who shattered his previous shot put record set the week before of 15.95m, appears to be peaking at just the right time.

My performance this week has certainly been a long time coming,” Ward wrote to the News. “I’ve been throwing big in practice for a while now so I knew I was due for a big meet. I feel that I am peaking at the right time and I’m hoping to have a pig performance at Heps. I expect and hope to break the 17 meter barrier this Saturday at home and to go even further at the end of the month in the Ivy Championship.”

Impressive throws also marked the women’s side of events for the Elis. Isabella Bergloff  ’24 set a massive PR of 16.06m in the weight throw, well over a meter farther than her previous best of 14.80m. Maria Leskovec ’24 also had a big day in the field, breaking the 15 meter mark in the weight throw with a distance of 15.01m. Kyra Pretre ’24 also marked a notable finish for the women’s side by clocking in competitive mile times of 4:47 and 4:53 on back-to-back days.

According to Bergloff, the success of the Yalie throwers is no coincidence. She cites Coach Duke Taylor’s coaching, both in the mental and physical aspects of competition, as contributors to her success.

For the past couple of weeks, Coach Duke has been hammering into us a ‘throw far or foul’ mentality, which is his own take on ‘go big or go home,’” Bergloff wrote to the News. “We’ve also been pushing ourselves in the weight room and doing explosive, strength specific training in practice, so I think this is also a culmination of all the work we have been putting in during practice.”

With one more weekend of split-squad competition, the Elis will get another chance to hone their skills and focus on themselves and their own performances. Then, after a weekend completely off, the teams will set their sights on the Ivy League Indoor Championships.

When asked about his attitude heading into the culmination of the indoor season, Appel expressed confidence.

In terms of confidence, I think it will be at an all time high at HEPS,” Appel wrote to the News. “I love the big meets and find that the energy of the meet helps me throw farther. All of this combined with the fact that I’ll have two solid weeks of uninterrupted and purposeful training beforehand really makes me believe I’ll be able to lay down some seriously far throws come the end of February.”

In the meantime, Yale will split their teams between a home meet in New Haven and another Boston University Invitational next weekend.