January 9, 2014

Bulldogs Return to Action at Coxe Cage

Elis Open 2014 at the Yale Invitational

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team will return from its month-long holiday break to host the 32nd Yale Invitational on Saturday. Regional teams from schools such as Brown, Connecticut, Fordham, Sacred Heart, SCSU, UMass Amherst and Williams all traveled to Coxe Cage for last year's meet, and the field should look similar this year.

For the Bulldogs—who last competed on Dec. 7 at the Yale Season Opener—the meet will serve as an unscored warm-up for the rest of the season. Just one week following the Yale Invitational, the Elis will head to Hanover, N.H., to take on their Ivy League rivals at the annual Yale-Dartmouth-Columbia meet.

When the team takes to the track on Saturday, it will be seeking to build on its success in its season opener. In the sprints, freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre is coming off an especially strong collegiate debut, in which he placed first in the 200-meter dash and second in the 60-meter dash, running impressive times in both events. Seniors Daniel Jones, Dana Lindberg and Nnamdi Udeh also figure to record top times in the short sprint events on Saturday. Jones and Udeh placed second and seventh, respectively, in the 200-meter dash a month ago. Meanwhile, Udeh and juniors Dylan Hurley and William Rowe will likely lead the way in the 400-meter dash. Rowe finished third in the 500-meter dash in Yale's first meet, while Udeh placed fifth in the 400-meters.

The 60-meter hurdles should be the domain of junior Daniel Kemp, freshman Austin Loewen and freshman Torren Peebles. All three qualified for the final round of the event at the Yale Season Opener, placing fourth, sixth and eighth, respectively.

In the opener, though, the Elis perhaps looked strongest in the middle-distance events, where freshman Tim Cox, junior Michael Grace, senior team captain James Shirvell and freshman Spike Sievert all excelled. Shirvell, competing for the first time since his appearance at the Division I Outdoor NCAA National Championships in June, nearly broke his personal record during his first-place finish in the mile run. Grace, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve on his personal record performance (2:31.10) in the 1,000-meter run.

The Bulldogs also figure to enter several runners in the 3,000-meter run this weekend, after resting most of their distance runners—most of whom had just concluded their cross country season—in the opener. The 3,000-meter race will be the longest event of the day.

In the field events, the Elis will enter Saturday with an excellent chance to perform well in the pole vault, thanks to the duo of senior Paul Chandler and sophomore Brendan Sullivan. Sullivan opened his season in impressive fashion back in December, setting a personal record of 15'9" (4.80m) to take first place. Sullivan's mark gave him the fifth-best pole vaulting personal record in Yale history—a spot he now shares with Chandler, who did not compete in the opener.

In the other field events, Lindberg will lead the Bulldogs in the long jump, as usual, while freshman Luke Persichetti will likely seek to establish his place as the Elis' regular representative in the shot put and weight throw.

This Saturday's meet will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with the weight throw and conclude at 5:20 p.m. with the 4x400 meter relay. A full schedule of events is available here. Full results will be available on www.yalebulldogs.com following the conclusion of the meet.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity