December 4, 2010

Bulldogs Launch into Season with Lidlifter Invitational

Bring Plenty of Wins Across the Board

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs opened the track and field season on Saturday with the Lidlifter Invitational at Coxe Cage. Although the meet was not scored, the Bulldogs had a chance to get back in the competitive mode after months of fall training. Several freshmen also put on impressive performances in their first collegiate meet. 

"It's less about what times they can run, but more about how they're competing," said David Shoehalter, the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.

The Bulldogs notched several top spots on the field with senior David Smith taking second (14.29m) and freshman Stefan Palios taking third (14.22m) in the shot put. Sophomore Mike Levine also placed third in the weight throw with a mark of 15.83m. In the jumps, junior Yifan Chen took second in the triple jump with a mark of 13.02m.

Junior Matt Bieszard and senior captain Marty Evans went 1-2 in the 400-meter dash, both running sub-50 times that are impressive for this early in the season. The two doubled up in the 200-meter dash as well, Evans placing third (22.34) and Bieszard placing fifth (22.53), before teaming up with senior Nathan Molina and sophomore Josh Fuller in the 4x400-meter relay to finish in fourth. In the short sprints, freshman Daniel Jones had an impressive first showing in the 60-meter dash, qualifying for finals and placing fourth overall in 7.08 seconds.

The distance runners met equal success even without the members of the cross country team, who did not compete at the meet. The Bulldogs won the 4x800-meter relay in 8:00.06 with the squad of juniors Andrew Esposito and Charlie Jaeger, sophomore Christopher Ramsey and freshman John Cocco. In his first race in Yale uniform, freshman James Shirvell won the mile in 4:21.86, breaking away from the pack with 800 meters to go.

"For a freshman to have the nerve to make a move like that was impressive," Shoehalter said.

On top of Shirvell's win, the Bulldogs ran a deep group in the mile, including freshman Michael Pierce in third (4:24.51), Esposito in fourth (4:24.92), Ramsey in sixth (4:29.12), Cocco in ninth (4:31.72) and Jaeger in 12th (4:37.15). In the 3,000-meter run, senior Matt Bogdan and freshman Miles Richardson dominated the rest of field to place first (8:53.70) and second (8:55.78) respectively, in negative split fashion with Richardson also running a PR. 

"I wasn't allowed to take the lead until the last 1,000-meters, but going through the first lap, no one wanted to take the lead," Bogdan said. "It was good to get back out there after six months of not racing."

Overall, the first performances of the season bode a positive outlook for the rest of the year.   

"This was a great way to start the season – many people running through the finish line, competing to the end," Evans said. "I'm excited for the enthusiasm, talent, and overall competition that the team displayed today."

The Bulldogs will take a winter recess before returning to Coxe Cage at their next meet, the College Invitational, on Jan. 15.   

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity