Chandler Places Fifth in Pole Vault, Three Bulldogs Qualify for Final Heats Tomorrow
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team opened its postseason competition with a powerful showing at the outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Saturday. Despite a busy schedule during the past couple weeks, the Bulldogs looked fresh as they tallied several impressive performances at Princeton's Weaver Stadium on day one of the two-day meet. Two Elis secured points for their team, and three others qualified for final heats tomorrow. At the end of Saturday's action, the Bulldogs sit in sixth place with eight total points, two more than Brown and four more than Penn.
Competing in the final Heps of his esteemed collegiate career, senior Mike Levine took third in the hammer throw on Saturday, recording his best toss of the season (185'11"—56.67m). Levine's first throw alone (185'10"—56.65m) would have been enough to top his previous season-best throw. But after fouling on his second attempt, Levine's third throw just beat the mark of his first, securing six points for the Bulldogs. Levine, who also placed third in the hammer throw at last year's outdoor Heps, is one of the favorites for Sunday's discus throw, an event in which he is the two-time defending Ivy League champ.
Junior pole vaulter Paul Chandler was the second athlete to score for the Elis. Chandler, who prior to Saturday had competed only once during the outdoor season, tied his personal-best mark of 15'9" (4.80m). He cleared the 15'9" mark on just his second try but could not quite clear the 15'11" (4.85m) mark. Chandler's performance not only grabbed the Elis two more points, but also marked a return to Chandler's strong form toward the end of the indoor season, when he placed fifth at Heps and ninth at the IC4As. With his score on Saturday, Chandler qualified for the IC4As next weekend. Freshman Brendan Sullivan, who has performed very well in his debut season, also competed in the pole vault but failed to clear the initial 14'9" (4.50m) mark.
In addition to the two Bulldogs who scored points on Saturday, three more ran well enough in trials to qualify for final heats on Sunday. Junior James Shirvell, who placed third in the 1,000-meter run at indoor Heps earlier this season, dominated the 1,500-meter trials on Saturday, placing first in his heat and second overall in 3:48.11. With his personal-best time of 3:47.63 that he recorded a few weeks ago at the Larry Ellis Invitational, Shirvell had already cracked the top ten times in Yale history in the event, and he figures to be in the running for a top finish in the final heat.
William Rowe continued his notable sophomore campaign by qualifying for the finals in the 400-meter hurdles. Rowe has been the Bulldogs' star in the event all season, and his time of 53.76 on Saturday was just 0.03 seconds shy of his personal best in the event, which he recorded just last weekend. Rowe placed third in his heat and sixth overall in prelims and should be a scoring threat on Sunday.
The third and final Bulldog to qualify for a final heat was junior Dana Lindberg, whose time of 21.59 was a personal record. He just beat out Penn freshman Chad Payne to secure the eighth and final qualifying spot in the event. Lindberg is competing at outdoor Heps for the first time since his freshman year, and he will seek to make his presence felt in the final heat tomorrow.
Lindberg also competed in the long jump, an event in which he set a personal record earlier this season. On Saturday, Lindberg placed 11th in the event with a leap of 22'8" (6.91m). Senior Tommy Winger, competing in his final Heps, took 13th with a mark of 21'8.75" (6.62m).
In the 10,000-meter run—the only track event to have its final on Saturday—freshman Kevin Dooney placed 9th, finishing in 30:09.24. He was followed not far behind by senior Matthew Thwaites (30:20.27), who took 13th. Two more seniors—Demetri Goutos and Kevin Lunn—finished in 30:35.40 and 32:13.99, respectively. Goutos and Thwaites both set personal records in the event and qualified for the IC4As. Goutos had actually never run the event before in his entire four-year collegiate career, but that inexperience did not appear to have any effect.
In the 800-meter dash, the Bulldogs entered three athletes: sophomore Michael Grace, freshman Alexander McDonald and senior Michael Pierce. Pierce (1:52.62) set a new personal record in the event and finished 12th—just about two seconds shy of qualifying for Sunday's finals. McDonald and Grace finished in 1:54.24 and 1:56.77, respectively.
In the other middle-distance event—the 1,500-meter run—senior team captain Timothy Hillas, senior Sam Kirtner and sophomore John McGowan joined Shirvell in representing the Elis. Hillas (3:50.14) and McGowan (3:50.31) both just missed out on qualifying, and Kirtner (3:55.73) finished in 21st overall.
In the sprints, junior Daniel Jones finished the 100-meter dash in 11.04, taking fourth in his heat and 14th overall. Meanwhile, junior Nnamdi Udeh joined Lindberg in the 200-meter dash, finishing 13th in 22.60. In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Dylan Hurley continued his string of consistently strong performances, finishing in 14th overall (50.77).
Sunday's action should be just as, if not more, exciting that Saturday's, as the relay finals, several individual track event finals, and the discus finals all await. The Elis will be seeking to build on Saturday's performance and leave Princeton with an impressive score. A full schedule of Sunday's events is available at http://static.psbin.com/t/p/iyzemjmltd47y0/2013_OTF_Schedule.pdf. Complete results will be available at www.yalebulldogs.com at the conclusion of the meet on Sunday.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity