April 28, 2013

Rowe Places First in 400-Meter Hurdles, Qualifies for IC4As

Bulldogs Take First in Four Events

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team's schedule seems to just keep getting busier. After sending 10 athletes to Philadelphia to compete at the Penn Relays on Thursday through Saturday, the Bulldogs hosted the annual Yale Springtime Invitational on Sunday. The meet attracted a wide range of local competition, including schools like Connecticut, Hartford, New Haven, Sacred Heart, Southern Connecticut State and Stony Brook. Because of the abundance of meets the Elis have been competing in over the past couple weeks, some of the team's most accomplished runners took Sunday's meet off. Thus, along with some of the Bulldogs' regulars, many of the Bulldogs' less experienced and younger athletes had the chance to shine on Sunday—and they represented the Elis well.

Sophomore William Rowe, however, is certainly not one of those inexperienced athletes. He has been the Elis' ace in the 400-meter hurdles all season and even competed in the 4x100 meter relay at the Penn Relays on Friday. Rowe continued his stellar season on Sunday by placing first in the 400-meter hurdles. His time of 53.73 was both a personal best and fast enough to qualify him for the IC4As later this year. Sunday's meet was the third time this season that Rowe has broken his personal record in the event.

The Bulldogs placed first in three other events on Sunday. One of them was the 1,500-meter run, where the duo of seniors Sam Kirtner and Michael Pierce placed first and second, respectively. Kirtner's time of 3:52.88 was just shy of the personal record he set at the Larry Ellis Invitational last weekend, and he won Sunday's race in dominating fashion, finishing ahead of Pierce by seven seconds. Senior Kevin Lunn and junior John Cocco placed 13th and 20th in the event, while freshman Max Payson took ninth.

Payson was not the only freshman to perform well on Sunday. Freshman Duncan Tomlin (9:28.05) placed first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Tomlin just recently became the Bulldogs' specialist in the event after placing first at Harvard-Yale, and Sunday was only the third time Tomlin had run the event in his collegiate career.

The Bulldogs also managed a first-place showing in the 4x100 meter relay. The team of Rowe, sophomore Dylan Hurley, junior Daniel Jones and junior Dana Lindberg—the same exact team that competed in the event at the Penn Relays on Friday—finished in 42.57, the Elis' fastest time in the event this season. Their time on Sunday was a 0.4-second improvement on their race at the Penn Relays.

The Elis also performed well in the individual short sprint events. In the 100-meter dash, Jones placed fourth overall with a time of 10.98, remarkably just 0.01 seconds slower than his personal record in the event. He was joined by freshman Martin Tolentino, sophomore Andrew Goble and sophomore Chen Wang, who placed 16th, 19th and 29th, respectively. In the 200-meter dash, junior Nnamdi Udeh took fifth overall, finishing in 22.75—just 0.16 seconds ahead of Hurley, who typically runs the 400-meter dash. Tolentino, Goble and sophomore Mario Kranjac also ran the event, finishing 15th, 16th and 17th, respectively.

In the longer sprint event—the 400-meter dash—a pair of freshmen led the way: John Keisling and Peter Merritt. Between the two of them, the pair had competed in the event just four times in their collegiate careers coming into this weekend. Both set new personal bests on Sunday, as Keisling placed sixth and Merritt took 11th.

In the 110-meter hurdles, another pair of youngsters shined bright. This time, it was freshman Adam Lundquist and sophomore Daniel Kemp who placed second and fourth, respectively. The pair finished just 0.02 seconds apart, with Lundquist registering a time of 15.51. Both athletes were within 0.1 seconds of their all-time bests.

In the longest event of the day—the 5,000-meter run—junior Miles Richardson finished in 15:19.90, taking fifth place. Richardson was competing for just the fourth time since the indoor season began in December, but the rust certainly did not show in his strong showing on Sunday. Junior Michele Gama Sosa placed 19th in the event.

Meanwhile, sophomore Michael Grace (1:58.69) placed 12th in the 800-meter run, his best event. Sunday marked Grace's seventh top-15 finish in the event this season.

In addition to their success in the track events, the Elis entered athletes in three field events on Sunday. Senior Tommy Winger placed second in the long jump. His first leap in the event (21'8"—6.60m), although wind-aided, was just barely shy of his personal record in the event, which he set way back in his freshman year. Lindberg has been the Elis' most active long jumper for much of the season, but Winger more than held his own in the event this weekend.

Junior Mark Kaczor—who, before competing in the shot put at Harvard-Yale a couple weekends ago had not competed since February—entered both the shot put and discus throw on Sunday. Kaczor took fifth in the shot put, his usual event, and sixth in the discus. His toss of 137'10" (42.01m) in the discus was a new personal best, while his throw of 41'1.75" (12.54m) in the shot put was his best of the outdoor season.

The Bulldogs' strong performance at the Yale Springtime Invitational marks the end of the regular season for the team. Next up is the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, hosted by Princeton next weekend. Five days after that, the Elis will head back to Princeton for the IC4As. 

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity