April 16, 2011

Bad Weather Not Enough to Dissuade Bulldogs

Wins in 4x100-Meter Relay, Five Individual Events  

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – At Saturday's Harvard-Yale meet, the Bulldogs had to dig deep as conditions dipped to the 40s and up to 35 mph winds at Dewitt-Cuyler Track. Both teams had an extra incentive, as the top two finishers in each event will travel to England in the summer to compete in the biannual Harvard-Yale-Oxford-Cambridge meet. Despite the Harvard win, the Bulldogs proved their mental toughness with six wins and many other top spots, totaling a score of 57 points.

The Bulldogs got off to a strong start, blowing away the Crimson in the 4x100-meter relay by almost two seconds with the team of senior Nathan Molina, senior captain Marty Evans, senior Chris Stanley and junior Matthew Bieszard in 42.19. They were followed by a 1-2 finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with junior Nathan Richards (9:13.12) and senior Matt Bogdan (9:21.57). In extremely windy conditions, Richards and Bogdan ran in first from the start and extended their lead over the course of the race, the pair finishing over nearly seconds ahead of the next runner from the Crimson.

"When you get in the water, it just freezes your whole body," Richards said. "But we wanted to jump out there and get a fast start to the meet … It's getting me and Bogdan ready for Princeton to run some fast times. Hopefully, there will be good weather there." 

In his first outdoor race of the season, senior John Van Deventer won the 1,500-meter run in strategic fashion, working his way up in the pack before taking the lead in the third lap and never looking back. Deventer, who is still training in the pool to avoid recurring injuries that have sat him out the last three years, also ran the fastest time (3:55.14) for the Bulldogs in the 1,500-meter run so far this season. Junior Julian Sheinbaum also ran a strategic race from the back, taking third with a season best of 3:55.99 and barely missing the second spot by .26 seconds. 

"Today was all about competing, not the time. It's a good day to compete, even with the scrappy conditions," Van Deventer said.  

The sprinters had the challenge of staying warm and refocusing for multiple races throughout the day, but still piled on the top spots. They dominated the 200-meter dash by taking the top three places with Evans in first (21.47), Bieszard in second (21.88) and Molina in third (22.04). The Bulldogs repeated the feat in the 100-meter dash with Bieszard (11.11), Molina (11.23) and freshman Daniel Jones (11.36) finishing as the top three. In the 400-meter dash, Evans came in second (48.83) and Stanley in third (50.74).

In the 800-meter run, freshman James Shirvell and junior Charlie Jaeger both ended up running PRs for outdoor despite racing in some of the worst conditions of the season, Shirvell finishing fourth (1:54.11) and Jaeger finishing fifth (1:56.37). As the rain and wind picked up in the afternoon, sophomore Demetri Goutos also ran a tough race in the 5,000-meter run and crossed the line first for the Bulldogs in fifth place in 14:57.33, breaking the 15-minute mark for the first time in outdoor.

The jumpers had an impressive combined effort with all of them scoring for the Bulldogs. Senior Samba Binagi took second in the long jump with a season best of 13.22m, followed by freshman Dana Lindberg in third with a mark of 13.02m, competing in the event for the first time in collegiate competition. The Bulldogs also went 2-3 in the long jump with sophomore Tommy Winger (6.62m) and Lindberg (6.56m).

The throwers also had every member score, with sophomore Mike Levine and freshman Stefan Palios taking second (51.53m) and third (44.01m), respectively, in the discus and senior David Smith taking third in the shot put (15.12m). Freshman Clifford Van Meter also threw a PR in the javelin throw to place second (40.51m).

The Crimson won the meet with 106 points, the first time they have won the dual meet in eight years.

Nevertheless, the Bulldogs will have another chance to compete against the Crimson, as well as other Ivy League schools, at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational on Apr. 23. 

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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