Yale Athletics

Last weekend, the majority of the Bulldogs kicked off their first of three straight weekends of competition in Boston, starting with University of Massachusetts Lowell’s River Hawk Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 27, while a few men’s distance runners headed to Columbia’s Dr. Sander Invitational the day before on Friday, Jan. 26.

With no more team-scored indoor meets until the Ivy League Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, the Elis got a taste of broader competition last weekend after having primarily faced Ivy League and other Connecticut opponents thus far. Among the teams Yale faced off against last week were Ivy League rivals University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College, west coasters Arizona and Stanford University, and northerners Toronto and Maine. They also got experience on a track that they hope to return to later this season.

“This weekend we went up to the North to the new Track at New Balance,” women’s coach Taryn Sheehan wrote to the News. “It gave our athletes a great opportunity to compete in the same building that will be host to the indoor NCAA Championships in March.”

On the men’s side of events, the sprinters started the day with some strong showings. Simon Jupp ’25 led the charge in the 400m, breaking the 50-second barrier with a 49.87-second finish, and Colin Quinn ’25 did the same in the 500m, taking second place overall with a Yale all-time top 10 finish of 1:03.29. Additionally, Jacob Kao ’25 and Kit Colson ’25 both placed second in their heat in the 200m, with Kao breaking the 22-second barrier at 21.99 and Colson clocking in not far off at 22.33.

 In the field events, captain Matt Appel ’24 finished third in the weight throw with a 19.13m hurl, and in the relays, Kao, Quinn, Andrew Farr ’26 and Aaron Miller ’25 teamed up for a 3:14.30 finish, nearly cracking Yale’s all-time top 10 list.

“I think this meet, like every other meet, gave us more insights into what we need to do as a team to be more successful,” captain Matt Appel wrote to the News. “Overall I’m satisfied with the performances we put up this week with the understanding that there is always more work to do. I do want to draw special attention to the men’s 4×4, who ran a great time with fantastic individual efforts on all four legs and beat Arizona’s 4×4 team and took a meet W.”

On the women’s side of events, Lucija Grd ’27 kicked things off for the Bulldogs, picking things up right where they left off. She finished with an 8.64-second clocking in the 60m hurdles, putting her right outside of her own school record set last week. Kyra Pretre ’24 and Claire Archer ’26 kept the pace up in the mile, taking first and second place with 4:52.83 and 4:53.82 efforts, respectively. Hebe Chadwick ’27 also set a PR in the 3000m with a 9:41.32 effort that placed her fifth. Among other strong performers were the Guerrier twins, with Gloria ’27 taking fourth at 55.86 in the 400m and Victoria ’27 taking second at 1:15.67 in the 500m. Fellow first-year Kalista Villatoro ’27 took fourth in the 800m with a finish of 2:13.10.

While most of the Bulldogs were in Boston, a few of their teammates, including Sean Kay ’24, Kenan Pala ’26 and Varun Oberai ’25, traveled to Columbia’s Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge, where Kay and Pala established PR’s and all three finished within the top eight of 19 runners.

Yale looks to continue to build upon strong performances next weekend when they return to Boston for the second of three straight weeks to compete at both Harvard’s Crimson Elite and Boston University’s Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational.

“We continue to focus on improving Heps through getting our athletes the training and experience they need,” head coach David Shoehalter wrote to the News. “This weekend, most of the team will head to Boston University, but we’re sending the men’s throwers to Harvard where they’ll benefit from better facilities. Additionally, after two straight weekends of competition, the women’s middle and long distance squads will take the weekend off to rest.”

After Friday, Feb. 2 at Harvard’s Crimson Elite and Saturday, Feb. 3 at Boston University’s Scarlet and White Invitational, the team will head back to BU for a two-day meet on Friday, Feb. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 10 for the David Hemery Valentine Invitational.