Yale to Host Ivy League Heptagonals

Dana Lindberg. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Dana Lindberg. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Several Bulldogs Hold Top Spots in League

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Amidst finals and end-of-the-year events, the Bulldogs will buckle down this weekend for the annual Ivy League Heptagonals Championships. Yale will host the much-anticipated meet at Cuyler Athletic Complex and Dwyer Track from May 7-8. The conference championship will feature all eight Ivy League schools in its 76th year of competition.

"Being in exams makes this a challenging time of the year, but we knew the academic schedule long ago, so our team should be prepared," said David Shoehalter, the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.

Senior captain Marty Evans will play a key role this weekend, holding the league's third-fastest time in the 200-meter dash and sixth-fastest in the 400-meter dash. Evans could also seek a title in the 200-meter dash after taking runner-up in last year's championships. Junior Matthew Bieszard should be a force in the 200-meter and 100-meter dashes, scoring in both events last year. Senior Chris Stanley has also been a contributor in the 400-meter dash this season. In the short sprints, senior Nathan Molina and freshman Daniel Jones seem to be peaking at the right time after a streak of season bests in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Springtime Invitational on Sunday.

The Bulldogs could score big in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with junior Nathan Richards and senior Matt Bogdan, who both scored at last season's championships, entering as No. 2 and No. 4 in the league, respectively. The distance runners in the 1,500-meter and 800-meter runs have the added challenge of trials, which means they will have to race their events on both days if they qualify for finals. Nevertheless, senior John Van Deventer is on a roll in the 1,500-meter run with two consecutive PRs despite a late start to the outdoor season. Junior Julian Sheinbaum also ran a PR in his last race in the 1,500-meter run and brings experience from competing at Heptagonals last season. Also competing in the event will be junior Conor Dooney and sophomore Michael Pierce. In the 800-meter run, freshman James Shirvell is coming off a season best and has already proved performance in post-season during indoor season, while sophomore Christopher Ramsey has ran consistent times in the 800-meter all season.

In the longer distances, both sophomore Demetri Goutos and freshman Ryan Laemel ran PRs in their last races. Sophomore Matthew Thwaites also holds the fastest time for the Bulldogs in the 10,000-meter run.

The Bulldogs bring in a solid group of throwers, headlined by sophomore Mike Levine, who is currently No. 1 in the league for the discus with his throw of 52.75m at Penn Relays last week, as well as No. 7 in the hammer throw. Senior David Smith has been the Bulldogs' top thrower in the shot put this season, while freshman Stefan Palios is also No. 10 for the discus. The jumps will be headed by sophomore Tommy Winger, who brings in the farthest mark for the Bulldogs in the triple jump, along with senior Samba Binagi, who jumped his season best at Harvard-Yale. Freshman Dana Lindberg brings in the farthest mark for the Bulldogs in the long jump.

The team has traditionally done very well in the relays at Heptagonals.The 4x800-meter relay team enters this weekend after a tune-up race at Penn Relays, while the 4x400-meter relay team, after deciding not to run at Penn Relays, should be eager to race this weekend. The 4x100-meter relay looks particularly strong, having just run a season best at the Springtime Invitational.

Last year, the Bulldogs took a respectable fourth place. Cornell is the defending champion with eight consecutive titles. The top six spots in each event score points using the standard scoring system of 10-8-6-4-2-1.

Hosting Heptagonals this year will also hopefully prove advantageous to the Bulldogs in terms of mentality and familiarity.

"There's certainly an advantage to competing on your home track. There's a familiarity with the facility that other teams don't have," Shoehalter said.

On Saturday, field events will start at 11 a.m. and running events at 10:50 a.m. On Sunday, field events start at 11 a.m. and running events at 10:30 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 4:45 p.m. A complete schedule can be found here. More information is available at the meet website at Yalebulldogs.com, as well as additional coverage at Ivyleaguesports.com and Hepstrack.com. Live results will be posted at Lancertiming.com and complete results at Yalebulldogs.com after the meet. Buses will leave to the track and field complex every 15 minutes in front of Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Report by Miriam Cho '13, Yale Sports Publicity