Bulldogs to Team Up With Crimson at Harvard-Yale vs. Oxford-Cambridge Meet

James Shirvell. (photo by Tim O'Dowd)
James Shirvell. (photo by Tim O'Dowd)

44th Rendition of Biennial Meet Slated for Tuesday

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Despite having faced off against Harvard at last weekend's Harvard-Yale dual meet, the Yale men's track and field team will join forces with the Crimson this weekend at the 44th biennial Harvard-Yale vs. Oxford-Cambridge meet. The meet, which rotates locations and is being hosted by Harvard this year, pits two historic American rivals against two traditional British rivals. Last time the meet was held in 2011, the Harvard-Yale men earned a 15-5 victory. The teams will seek to continue to build off of not only that performance, but also Harvard and Yale's historical success at the meet: their combined men's team has won 30 of the 42 meets held since the tradition began in 1899 and 21 of the last 23 meets dating back to 1965. 

The meet is relatively exclusive compared to standard meets—usually only somewhere between four and eight total athletes compete in each event. The Harvard-Yale meet, held just last weekend in this season's case, traditionally serves as a sort of qualifier to decide who competes against Oxford and Cambridge. This year, nine Elis will take part in this historical competition.

The Elis should see much success in the field events. Leading the way will be senior Mike Levine, who placed first in both the discus throw (174'5"—53.17m) and hammer throw (185'2"—56.45m) last weekend and will get a chance to duplicate those strong performances on Tuesday. Despite falling just short of breaking any personal records last weekend, he managed to crush his Harvard competition, who will undoubtedly be happy to have him on their side on Tuesday. Levine, the reigning Ivy League champ in the discus, placed first in the event at the last Yale-Harvard vs. Oxford-Cambridge meet in 2011. 

Freshman pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan, however, might just be the athlete to watch this weekend. After struggling through injury for much of the indoor season, Sullivan has come on strong over the past couple months—with a second-place finish at the H-Y-P rivalry meet, a fourth-place finish at the Ivy League Indoor Championships and a first-place finish at Harvard-Yale last Saturday. The freshman will have a chance to build on that momentum on Tuesday. Junior Paul Chandler is the Bulldog's most experienced and accomplished pole vaulter. Yet to compete during the outdoor season, Chandler ended the indoor season on an absolute tear, setting a personal record of 15'9" (4.80m) in a first-place finish at the H-Y-P meet and tying that mark in a ninth-place performance at the IC4As. Both athletes will be threats to score on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs also figure to be quite active in the middle-distance events, where they have achieved much success of late. Junior James Shirvell will represent the Elis in the 800-meter run after placing first in the event last weekend while falling just 0.2 seconds short of his personal best in the event (1:51.14). Shirvell, along with Levine, is the only other Bulldog to have competed in the biennial meet in 2011—he competed in the 1,500-meter run, finishing third. This year, sophomore John McGowan will run the 1,500-meters on behalf of the Bulldogs. He finished in 30:50.59 to take first against Harvard. McGowan had already qualified for the IC4As in the event coming into the meet. 

Senior team captain Timothy Hillas will run the 5,000-meter race for the Elis. He has the Bulldogs' top time of the season in the event, running a 14:17.84 (an all-time best) at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina. Hillas has the seventh-fastest time in the Ivy League this outdoor season in the event.

In the short sprints, junior Daniel Jones will compete in the 100-meter dash. He finished second in the event last weekend in 11.07—the Elis' top time of the outdoor season. Meanwhile, junior Dana Lindberg—often known for his long-jumping prowess—reminded everyone of his sprinting skills last weekend by placing second in the 200-meter dash in 22.46, beating out Jones by 0.09 seconds. He will compete in the 200-meter dash on Tuesday. The Elis will be fortunate to have Harvard's Connor McCarthy on their team this time around—the junior placed first in both of the short sprints last Saturday. In the longer sprint event, the 400-meter dash, sophomore Dylan Hurley will serve as the Bulldogs' representative. He registered the Elis' top 400-meter time of the outdoor season last weekend (50.31). 

Another sophomore, William Rowe, just barely missed out on breaking his personal record with his first-place showing in the 400-meter hurdles on Saturday, and his strong showing makes him the lone Eli to watch in the event on Tuesday.

In an interesting tradition, the Bulldogs and Crimson typically join forces in the two relay events and enter one team to take on one Oxford-Cambridge team in each event. Jones and Lindberg are those most likely to take part in the 4x100 meter relay, while Hurley and Rowe are possibilities to run in the 4x400 meter relay. 

Tuesday's meet will take place at Harvard's McCurdy Outdoor Track and Gordon Indoor Track. Competition will begin at 3:00 p.m., conclude by 6:00 p.m. and be followed by a cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation. A program and schedule can be found at http://static.psbin.com/7/e/n426tsg9b9vq0o/2013HYOC_Program.pdf. Results will be posted at the conclusion of the meet on www.yalebulldogs.com.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity