Levine Moves on to Nationals
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three Bulldogs were in action today at the East Preliminary Round of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of North Florida. Yale's qualifiers – senior Matthew Bieszard, junior Mike Levine and senior John Van Deventer – competed against the 47 other best athletes in the East region in each of their respective events.
Levine, a three-year veteran of the Regional meet, turned in his best performance of the season in the discus throw to earn a berth at Nationals. By finishing in the top 16 after the first three throws, he advanced out of the first round and was granted another three tries. Though he fouled in all three of those final throws, his top mark of 53.93m (175'11") was enough to snag the final ticket to the national semifinals in Des Moines, Iowa. Levine's season-best effort was good for 12th place, 4.46m behind winner Lonnie Pugh of Michigan State.
Van Deventer's magical late-season run came to an end with his 34th-place finish in the 1500-meter run (3:56.88). He qualified for Regionals with an incredible race at a last-chance meet less than two weeks ago. This time, however, Van Deventer was unlucky to be placed in the fastest of the four heats, when a time of 4:05.88 was enough to qualify in the slowest. His time was also significantly faster than that of Columbia senior Kyle Merber, who earlier this year set an American collegiate record in the event. Van Deventer leaves Yale having run the second-fastest 1500-meter time in school history (3:43.34).
Bieszard also concluded his decorated career on a high note, running his second-best time ever in the 400-meter dash (47.83). The captain took 41st in the race. Bieszard rode a strong end-of-the-year push to a string of PRs and a second-place showing at Heps, where he ran the fifth-best time on Yale record (46.92).
Levine has also qualified for Regionals in the hammer throw, for which the first round begins tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Beyond that, he will be headed to the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity