TRACK AND FIELD: Raleigh Relays kick off outdoor season
his past weekend, Yale’s track and field team kicked off their outdoor season at N.C. State’s Raleigh Relays, held in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Three weeks after the track and field IC4A and ECAC championships in Boston concluded their indoor season, Yale’s men’s and women’s track teams headed to Raleigh, North Carolina to begin their outdoor season at the Raleigh Relays.
In their first meet of the season, despite the lack of team scores, both Yale’s men’s and women’s teams had strong showings across the board. Amid a competitive field featuring teams from conferences such as the SEC, ACC and the Big Ten, many Yale athletes were able to land finishes on the podium and log new PRs.
“We showed some encouraging signs across all event areas,” coach David Shoehalter wrote to the News. “The ability to train for a week in good weather is paramount to our later season success. I am excited for the weeks to come.”
On the men’s side of events, some of the same names from the indoor season led the charge for the Bulldogs.
Matt Appel ’24 placed fourth in the shot put with a distance of 17.87m and third in the discus with a distance of 55.16m and Brian Di Bassinga ’26 placed sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 14.71m, just short of his personal best of 14.84m. In addition, Cade Brown ’23 started off his senior season strong with a finish of 29:58.18 in the 10k, bumping him up to sixth on Yale’s all-time list, and Calvin Katz ’25 took first in his heat and set a new PR in the 800m with a time of 1:52.05.
When asked about his performance against a competitive field this past weekend, including one of the top three discus throwers in the nation, Appel expressed appreciation for the challenging environment.
“Competing against throwers at a high level is what allowed me to grow so fast in high school and college alike,” Appel wrote to the News. “You get better by watching other people to see what they do better than you do and trying to implement bits and pieces of what they do into your own throw. Also knowing that I will absolutely have a far mark to chase in competition makes it easier to go all out.”
On the women’s side of events, the three days of competition were marked by many near and new personal records.
On the first day of competition, Kathryn Rodrigues ’24 ran a time of 36:32.79, narrowly missing her PR of 36:26.81. On the second day of competition, Claire Archer ’26 kicked things off with a first place heat finish of 4.33.61 in the 1500m, while Kyra Pretre ’24 ran an impressive time of 4:30.75 in the same event. Other notable finishes on day two included Sophia Karperos’s ’24 time of 11:22.24 in the steeplechase — a 19-second PR — and Bella Bergloff’s ’24 nearly one meter PR in the discus with a throw of 39.56m. Finally, Maria Leskovec’s ’24 PR of 47.87m in the hammer throw highlighted day three for the Bulldogs.
When asked about how the transition from indoors to outdoors would affect performances, Archer explained that the larger outdoor tracks were better for distance runners and cited her excitement to see where the outdoor season leads.
“I’m looking forward to racing outside under the sun as we head into the spring,” Archer wrote to the News. “Outdoor tracks are twice as large as indoor tracks (400 meters vs. 200 meters), and I feel like this makes a noticeable difference, especially for distance runners, since you have to run twice as many laps to cover the same distance.”
After the three-day meet in Raleigh this past weekend, the Elis will head to Storrs, CT on Saturday, April 1 to compete in the UConn Dog Fight.