Levine Sets New Personal Record, Places Second in Discus at Heps
Nine Bulldogs Qualify for IC4As in New Events
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team wrapped up its first postseason meet of the outdoor season on Sunday, recording a number of IC4A qualifications and personal bests at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, held at Princeton's Weaver Stadium. After posting several notable marks on Saturday—mostly in preliminary heats—the Elis performed just as well in the final heats on Sunday. The Bulldogs finished with 19 points overall. Princeton won the meet with 190 points, just beating out Cornell (162 points), Brown (75) and Columbia (73).
Senior Mike Levine was the deserving star of the afternoon for the Bulldogs. After placing third in the hammer throw on Saturday, Levine ended his Heps career in remarkable fashion on Sunday, recording an all-time personal best in the discus (182'5"—55.61m). Levine hit the mark on his fourth throw, and it was good enough to secure him a second-place result, finishing only behind Penn freshman Sam Mattis, who broke the 21-year old Heps record. Levine will seek to carry over this momentum to the IC4As, where he will be competing against the region's best next weekend. Levine added eight points to the Elis' overall tally and, between his top showings in both the discus and hammer throw, was by far the Bulldogs' top scoring contributor of the weekend.
Junior James Shirvell also scored for the Bulldogs. After placing second overall in prelims on Saturday, Shirvell placed sixth in Sunday's 1,500-meter final, with a time of 3:51.63. Shirvell's strong performance earned him one point for Yale. Shirvell will also be running at the IC4As next weekend, and more top results can be expected.
Two of the Elis' relay teams also picked up points. In the 4x100 meter relay, the team of sophomore Dylan Hurley, junior Daniel Jones, junior Dana Lindberg and junior Nnamdi Udeh placed sixth in 42.06—a time that is not only the Bulldogs' best of the season by a notable margin, but also that qualified the Elis for the IC4As. The Bulldogs finished just 0.08 seconds behind Penn. The very same team—with the exception of sophomore William Rowe substituted in for Udeh—also scored with its sixth-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay. This was the same team that had competed at the historic Penn Relays last weekend, and they recorded an impressive time of 3:19.20 on Sunday. Rowe, running the anchor leg, actually ran the fastest split of the race (48.99) for the team, managing to hold off Dartmouth and Harvard.
Lindberg was an especially busy man on Sunday: in addition to the two relay events, he also competed in the 200-meter dash finals, after earning the final qualifying spot in prelims on Saturday. Lindberg finished in 21.97, taking seventh overall and just missing out on a scoring opportunity. Rowe competed in a non-relay event on Sunday as well: the 400-meter hurdles, his main event. After qualifying on Saturday, Rowe continued his string of strong times in the event, finishing in 54.44—just 0.47 seconds from scoring.
The Elis also managed an IC4A qualification in the third and final relay event: the 4x800 meter relay. The team of Shirvell, senior Timothy Hillas, sophomore John McGowan and senior Michael Pierce finished in 7:40.90, the Bulldogs' best time of the season in the event.
Sophomore Isa Qasim also qualified for the IC4As on Sunday, with his 14th-place showing in the 5,000-meter run. His time of 14:35.01 was the best of his career, beating out his previous personal best (set earlier this season) by about seven seconds. Sophomore Matt Nussbaum (14:50.41) finished right behind Qasim, in 15th-place.
Finally, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, freshman Duncan Tomlin (9:17.50) easily set a new personal best. Since emerging as the Elis' ace in the event a few weeks ago, Tomlin has placed first at both the Harvard-Yale meet and at the Yale Springtime Invitational. Tomlin was just more than two seconds shy of qualifying for the IC4As, a goal he will undoubtedly seek to accomplish during his sophomore season.
After a well-rounded team performance on Saturday and Sunday, the Bulldogs will not be leaving Princeton for long. They will be back next weekend for the IC4A Championships to compete against an even more competitive field of some of the region's top athletes. After gaining several last-minute qualifiers on Sunday, the Elis will likely be bringing an even larger team to next weekend's meet, slated for May 10-12.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity