Bulldogs Dominate Middle-Distance Events at Harvard-Yale Meet

Matt Nussbaum. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Lindberg Sets Personal Record in Long Jump

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—With a grand total of 64 points—the team's most since 2010—the Yale men's track and field team put on an impressive showing at the annual Harvard-Yale dual meet on Saturday. Despite falling short of Harvard's 97 points, the Elis had plenty to be proud of at the conclusion of the meet. 

The Bulldogs' middle-distance runners put on especially notable performances. Junior James Shirvell finished just short of his personal record in the 800-meter dash, placing first in 1:51.34. Senior Michael Pierce placed fifth in 1:55.00, while freshman Alexander McDonald and sophomore Michael Grace placed seventh and ninth, respectively.

Perhaps even more remarkably, the top three finishers in the 1,500-meter run were all Bulldogs. A pair of sophomores took the top two spots—John McGowan and Matt Nussbaum. McGowan ran his third-fastest time ever in the event (30:50.59), while Nussbaum (3:50.67) broke his previous personal record—set just a few weeks ago at the Tribe Invitational—by more than three seconds. Both runners qualified for the IC4As in the event. Senior team captain Timothy Hillas (3:51.19) just missed qualifying for the IC4As and placed third, but he did manage to register his top time of the season. Senior Sam Kirtner placed fifth in 3:53.18. 

In the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore William Rowe (55.26) fell just short of his best time of the season and still placed first. His teammates, freshman Adam Lundquist (58.51) and sophomore Daniel Kemp (59.59) placed third and fourth, respectively. Kemp's and Lundquist's best event, however, is the 110-meter hurdles. Kemp and Lundquist placed second and third, respectively, in that event, grabbing a combined four points for their team.

Another young athlete made his mark in the 3,000-meter steeplechase: Duncan Tomlin. In an event in which the Bulldogs typically do not compete, Tomlin (9:29.29) managed a stellar first-place finish, adding five points to the Elis' total. Tomlin had never competed in the event before, and Saturday marked only the seventh meet he has competed in in his collegiate career. 

The Elis also took home four first-place finishes in the field events on Saturday. In the long jump, junior Dana Lindberg (24'3.5"—7.40m) placed first, set a personal record and qualified for the IC4As all in one day. Senior Tommy Winger, who also placed third in the triple jump, took fourth in the long jump.

In the pole vault, it was a young Bulldog freshman—Brendan Sullivan—who continued his remarkable season with a first-place finish. Despite falling short of his personal-best mark in the event, Sullivan easily beat out the competition from Harvard to add five points to Yale's tally. 

But it was senior Mike Levine who may have stolen the show in the field events on Saturday, placing first in both the discus throw and hammer throw. Competing in the hammer throw for the first time this season, Levine registered a mark of 185'2" (56.45m), his best toss since the Ivy League Championships last season.

A pair of juniors—Stefan Palios and Mark Kaczor—placed fourth and fifth, respectively in the shot put. Both were competing for the first time this outdoor season. Palios also placed fifth in the discus, behind Levine. 

Meanwhile, despite going up against stellar Harvard junior Connor McCarthy—who placed first in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes—the Elis still had their fair share of strong showings in the short sprints. Junior Daniel Jones finished in 11.07 in the 100-meter dash, and freshman Martin Tolentino placed close behind in 11.61. Lindberg, known primarily as a long jumper, placed second in the 200-meter dash, displaying his versatility with a 22.46 finish. Jones, junior Nnamdi Udeh, Tolentino and sophomore Andrew Goble placed third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the event. In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Dylan Hurley led the way, placing third in 50.31.

Junior Michael Cunetta added a point to Yale's cause with his third-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in 8:29.77. Sophomore Isa Qasim (8:31.72) finished close behind in fourth place. Senior Demetri Goutos, junior Miles Richardson and junior Michele Gama Sosa took sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. 

Finally, in the 4x400 meter relay, Yale had teams place first and third. The team of Hurley, Jones, Lindberg and Rowe placed first in 3:18.71, winning the race by almost a full second. The Elis' second team finished in 3:23.23. The Bulldogs did not enter any teams in the 4x100 meter relay.

Despite facing off against Harvard on Saturday, the Elis will actually team up with the Crimson in just a few days—on Tuesday—when they take on the combination of Oxford and Cambridge in Boston. The Bulldogs will seek to carry over their momentum from Saturday's strong performance to Tuesday's much-anticipated meet. 

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity