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Short Sprinters Come up Big at Annual Tri-Meet

Nnamdi Udeh. (Photo by Tom Cable)
Nnamdi Udeh. (Photo by Tom Cable)

Alexandre, Jones and Lindberg Impress Despite Bulldogs' Third-Place Finish

HANOVER, N.H.—The Yale men's track and field team may not have gotten the result it wanted at the annual Columbia-Dartmouth-Yale meet in Hanover, N.H., but several individual Bulldogs made their presences felt on Saturday. The Elis (35 points) finished third at the meet, which served as both Yale's first scored and first Ivy League meet of the season. The Big Green cruised to a first place finish with 75 points, while the Lions (47 points) finished second.

Despite the disappointing team finish, many Elis had performances to remember on Saturday. Freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre, for instance, continued to turn heads during what has been a remarkable debut season thus far. The Montreal native placed first overall in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. While Alexandre's 60-meter time of 6.95 was just one-hundredth of a second shy of his collegiate personal record, it was his 200-meter performance that was truly exceptional. Alexandre's 200-meter mark of 22.10 gave him the 8th-fastest personal record in the event in Yale history and the fastest time recorded by a Yale runner in two years. Alexandre has also now qualified for the IC4As in both short sprint events.

Seniors Daniel Jones and Dana Lindberg continued the Bulldogs' success in the short sprints. Jones placed second in the 60-meter dash (7.04) and third in the 200-meter dash (22.60), while Lindberg followed close behind, taking third in the 60-meter dash (7.05 – a personal record) and sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.85). The trio of Alexandre, Jones and Lindberg ensured that the Elis took the top three spots in the 60-meter dash. And, taking into account the strong showing from senior Nnamdi Udeh (22.93) in the 200-meter race, the Bulldogs took four of the top seven spots in that event as well. Freshman Torren Peebles (23.40) and sophomore Martin Tolentino (23.88) also managed 11th- and 12th-place finishes, respectively, in the 200-meter race.

Even with his solid performances in the sprints, Lindberg still had enough energy left over to easily take first in the long jump—his signature event—with a mark of 22'8" (6.91m). All four of Lindberg's legal jumps in the event outdid the top marks of his opponents from Columbia and Dartmouth.

Sophomore pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan found similar success, placing second in his event. Sullivan actually tied for first with a personal record mark of 15'11" (4.85m) after both he and Dartmouth senior Josh Cyphers failed to convert at a height of 16'4.85" (5.00m) on three attempts, but Sullivan then lost a jump-off to Cyphers at a height of 16'1" (4.90m). Sullivan—who qualified for the IC4As back in the Yale Season Opener—is now all alone as the owner of the fifth-best pole vaulting personal record in Yale history (he had previously been tied for the mark with his injured teammate, senior Paul Chandler).

In the shot put and weight throw, meanwhile, senior John Oppenheimer and freshman Luke Persichetti represented the Bulldogs. Persichetti and Oppenheimer finished third and fifth, respectively, in the shot put and fifth and seventh, respectively, in the weight throw. Persichetti's mark of 44'3.25" (13.49m) in the weight throw was the best of his young collegiate career, while Oppenheimer—Yale football's starting center for each of the past three seasons—continues to improve and adjust to the throw events, which he competed in as a high school athlete.

In the long sprints, junior Dylan Hurley was the Elis' lone scorer on Saturday, placing fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.06. Udeh (51.70) and freshman Chandler Crusan (51.92) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the event. Sophomore John Keisling (1:08.01) and junior William Rowe (1:09.53) led the way in the 500-meter dash, placing seventh and eighth, respectively. Peebles (8.73), meanwhile, picked up two points for Yale in the 60-meter hurdles. He was followed closely by fellow freshman Austin Loewen (8.86).

Freshman James Randon was the Bulldogs' biggest bright spot in the middle-distance races, finishing third in the mile run. As the only Yale runner in a field of 15 athletes, Randon performed well, following up his seventh-place 800-meter race at the Yale Invitational last weekend with a time of 4:15.94 on Saturday. Junior Michael Grace, for his part, fell less than two seconds short of scoring for the Elis, running the 800-meter race in 1:58.43 and placing fifth.

In the longest race of the day—the 3,000-meter run—the Bulldogs entered a trio of runners, as senior Michael Cunetta (8:56.89), junior Tom Harrison (9:06.07) and senior Miles Richardson (9:13.11) placed 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.

Finally, Yale also found some success in the relay events. The Bulldogs' top 4x400-meter relay team—Alexandre, Hurley, Rowe and Udeh—finished in 3:21.81, missing out on first place by just more than one-tenth of a second. Yale's 4x800-meter relay team of Grace, Randon, and sophomores John Mahoney and Max Payson, meanwhile, placed third in 7:59.76—Yale's top 4x800 meter time of the season.

Following their meet in Hanover on Saturday, the Elis will have a week to prepare for the Terrier Invitational, hosted by Boston University on Jan. 25.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity