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Five Bulldogs Set Personal Records on Day One of Larry Ellis

Kevin Lunn. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kevin Lunn. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

1,500-Meter Runners Excel

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Despite only having athletes entered in three events, the Yale men's outdoor track and field team put on quite a show on day one of the Larry Ellis Invitational, hosted by Princeton. The annual meet pits the Bulldogs against their Ivy League rivals, as well as a massive field of schools from the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic. The Elis will be competing in a majority of their events tomorrow, when they will seek to build on Friday's success. 

A total of 30 Bulldogs qualified for this weekend's meet, although some number of these athletes did not compete Friday and will not compete Saturday due to the large number of meets the Elis have competed in over the course of the past week. The Elis that did compete on Friday, however, put on what is possibly one of the team's top showings of the season.

The Bulldogs achieved most of their success in the 1,500-meter run elite heats, where senior Timothy Hillas, senior Sam Kirtner, sophomore John McGowan and junior James Shirvell all represented the Bulldogs exceptionally well. In a massive field of 60 athletes, Shirvell (3:47.63) placed sixth and set a personal record. Remarkably, Shirvell has already broken his personal record in the 1,500-meter run three times this season, running a 3:50.22 at the Tribe Invitational and a 3:49.26 at the Raleigh Relays earlier in the year. Coming into the weekend, the Larry Ellis meet record in the event was 3:45.00, and Shirvell came very close to joining some elite company. Hillas, the Elis' team captain, was the second Bulldog to crack the top 10, finishing ninth. McGowan finished just outside the top ten (13th) but beat his previous personal-best time in the event by 0.3 seconds. Kirtner was the third Bulldog to set a personal record in the 1,500-meters on Friday, surpassing his previous record time by just less than one second. While McGowan and Shirvell had already qualified for the IC4As coming into the meet, Hillas qualified in the 1,500-meters with his time on Friday. 

Freshman Duncan Tomlin, meanwhile, refused to let his inexperience show in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running a 9:27.89—a personal record. Tomlin competed in the event for the first time in his collegiate career last weekend against Harvard and surprisingly placed first in the event. After improving on that time on Friday, Tomlin may have cemented his place as the Bulldogs' ace in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the remainder of the season.

Another youngster—sophomore Isa Qasim—led the way for the Bulldogs in the 5,000-meter run, finishing in 14:42.54, shattering his previous personal record in the event by nearly 10 seconds. Qasim has been on a bit of a roll as of late, also placing fourth in the 3,000-meter run against Harvard last weekend. Senior Demetri Goutos (14:52.24) was the second Eli to finish, with junior Michael Cunetta (14:56.39) not far behind. Sophomore Matt Nussbaum (15:01.14), freshman Kevin Dooney (15:05.50) and senior Kevin Lunn (15:35.74) also competed for the Bulldogs. 

The Elis will continue competition tomorrow around noon. The meet will wrap up by 6:00 p.m., and results will be available on A full schedule of events is available at

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity