Yale Athletics

After getting a taste of competition against Ivy League rival Harvard Crimson the previous weekend, many of the Bulldogs’ Track and Field athletes headed to the home of the Princeton Tigers on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, while the remainder of the men’s and women’s teams headed to the home of the UConn Huskies on Saturday, April 13.

With the Ivy League Outdoor Track & Field Championships being held at Princeton at the beginning of May, many of Yale’s throwers, jumpers, and distance runners had the opportunity to try out Princeton’s facilities before the more important meet comes in just three more weekends. Between Princeton, NJ and Storrs, CT, both teams faced inclement conditions.

“We performed well in challenging conditions,” Head Coach David Shoehalter wrote to the News. “I am looking forward to the weeks to come.”

At Princeton, the women’s team saw the strongest performances in the field events. Maria Leskovec ’24 set a PR in the hammer throw with a distance of 52.81m, earning her sixth place. Meanwhile, also at Princeton, Dominique Romain ’25 finished sixth for the Bulldogs in the long jump, covering 5.68m with a single leap.

At UConn, the women’s team’s performance was marked by more strong performances in the field events. Sydney Kunkler ’24 took the top spot for Yale in the long jump, covering 5.44m in one stride, just shy of her teammate Romain’s performance in New Jersey. Meanwhile, pole vaulter Eileen Yang ’24 cleared 3.63m, her seventh meet in a row clearing 3.60m.

“The majority of the team competed at UConn, while a few of our field event athletes traveled down to New Jersey this weekend for the Larry Ellis invite,” assistant coach Connor Shannahan wrote to the News. “Between both meets we saw the team compete well in less than ideal conditions. We are excited to build off those performances this week, as we have athletes competing down in North Carolina for the Wake Forest Invitational and at home for the Mark Young Invitational.”

On the men’s side of competition, the throwers led the Bulldogs with strong performances at Princeton. Chris Ward ’24 took fourth in the shot put with a 17.21m throw, while team captain Matt Appel ’24 took fourth place in the discus with a 56.55m toss.

At UConn, the Bulldogs managed to set several PRs on the track. Tanish Chettiar ’26 kicked things off for Yale with a 3:51.21 PR in the 1500m, finishing just ahead of teammate Ronan Luff ’27 who set himself a PR with a time of 3:54.94. Meanwhile, Simon Jupp ’25 set a PR in the 200m with a time of 22.31 seconds.

“Having the team split is tough because we aren’t able to support each other as we want to,” Appel wrote to the News, “but it was a great opportunity for the throwers, some of the jumpers, and some of the distance runners to get a feel for what competing at Princeton is like before HEPs.”

Appel added that while the bad weather was “unfortunate” for a lot of the sprinters, they needed to be prepared to compete in such conditions “if those are the cards that we are dealt.” 

“As the season starts to wind down, we need to make sure that we double down our efforts at practice and in the classroom to put us in the best situation come May 4th,” Appel wrote. 

The Bulldogs will compete next at the Wake Forest Invitational on Friday, April 19, and on Saturday, April 20 they will host the Mark Young Invitational in New Haven at Coxe Cage. 

The Bulldogs have two more weekends of competition left before their postseason kicks off with the Ivy League Outdoor Track and Field Championships which will take place on May 4 in Princeton.

Collyn Robinson is the Multimedia Managing Editor of the Yale Daily News. He previously served as the lead producer for the “Full Disclosure” podcast. Originally from St. Louis, he lives in Silliman College, majoring in Film and Media.