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Distance Runners Set PRs in Elite Races

James Shirvell (photo by Dan Grossman,
James Shirvell (photo by Dan Grossman,

Shirvell, Hilas, Lunn Pace Bulldogs

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Bulldogs put on a display of force in the distance and middle distance events Friday night on the first day of the Larry Ellis Invitational. Eight Elis competed in the elite races and all ran season bests, with six of them setting personal records. With the entire Ivy League present, Yale was able to take stock of where it stands against its rivals.

Sophomore James Shirvell showed no ill aftereffects in his second week back from surgery, finishing with a strong kick in the 800-meter run (35th – 1:52.69). In an extremely talented field, Shirvell's time was less than three seconds behind the winner and was good for seventh among Ivy League competitors. He has a strong chance of leapfrogging many of those same runners come Heps considering his personal record is over a full second faster than his time yesterday.

Yale entered four runners in the elite 1500-meter run, and all raced to massive PRs. Junior Timothy Hillas sliced over five seconds off of his best time (22nd – 3:48.12) and was seventh-fastest Ivy Leaguer. Freshman John McGowan was not far behind (27th – 3:49.37), finishing 10th among the Ancient Eight. Freshman Jacob Sandry (37th – 3:50.96) and junior Michael Pierce (39th – 3:51.04) also lowered their PRs by hefty margins. Hillas, McGowan and Sandry all exceeded the IC4A qualifying standard of 3:51.00, while Pierce barely missed it.

Juniors Sam Kirtner, Kevin Lunn and Matthew Thwaites competed in the 5000-meter run for the first time this season, and the former pair set new personal records. Lunn crossed the line first in 14:46.83 to take 58th. Kirtner (77th – 14:59.28) and Thwaites (78th – 15:00.62) ran together the entire race and finished within a second of one another.

Competition resumes today at noon. Live results are available here, and a full recap will be posted on upon the meet's conclusion.

Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity