Elis Head to Princeton for Sam Howell Invitational

William Rowe. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
William Rowe. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Large Field to Provide Bulldogs with Early Test

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale men's track and field team will make the short trip to Princeton, N.J., this weekend, as it prepares for the Sam Howell Invitational. The annual meet, which holds events on both Friday and Saturday, generally attracts around 1,000 student-athletes from schools from across the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic, including several Ivy League schools. The unscored meet—the Elis' second outdoor meet of the season—will serve as a warm-up for some of the Bulldogs' upcoming scored meets, such as their showdown with Harvard on Apr. 12.

After taking a rest from competition at the Shamrock Invitational in South Carolina two weekends ago, star freshman sprinter Marc-Andre Alexandre will make his official outdoor track debut for the Elis this weekend. Alexandre ended the indoor season on a high note, setting a 200-meter dash personal record (the fourth-fastest in Yale history) at the IC4A Championships. Alexandre will compete in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes this weekend.

Senior Daniel Jones will likewise run both short sprint events. Jones also concluded his indoor season with plenty of momentum, registering a 200-meter personal record (the fifth-fastest in Yale history, just behind Alexandre) at the IC4As. Sophomore Martin Tolentino will join Alexandre and Jones in the 100-meter dash, while senior Nnamdi Udeh will join the pair in the 200-meter dash.

The 400-meter dash, meanwhile, will be the domain of freshman Chandler Crusan, junior Dylan Hurley and junior Mario Kranjac. Although Hurley has traditionally been the Bulldogs' ace in the 400-meters, he did not compete in the event at the Shamrock Invitational, where Kranjac and Crusan finished in 50.53 and 50.77, respectively.

Several Bulldogs will take part in the longer 800-meter race. Freshman standout James Randon—who recorded a personal-best 800-meter time (1:54.22) and third-place finish at the Shamrock Invitational—figures to lead the way, with freshman Tim Cox, junior Michael Grace, freshman Andre Ivankovic and sophomore Alexander McDonald not far behind. With the exception of Cox, this is the exact same group of runners that competed in the event at the Shamrock Invitational, and all will be seeking to improve their times.

Many of the Elis' remaining middle-distance and distance runners will compete in the 1,500-meter race, including freshman Ryan Douglas, senior Michele Gama Sosa, freshman David Hatch, sophomore John Mahoney, junior Matt Nussbaum, sophomore Max Payson, junior Jacob Sandry and sophomore Will Botta. Nussbaum is one of Yale's stronger middle-distance runners and will be looking to make his mark after competing only three times during the indoor season. Mahoney, for his part, turned some heads during the indoor season, stringing together several impressive performances in the 800-meter and 1,000-meter races after competing only once as a freshman. Meanwhile, Sandry has excelled as a cross country runner over the past couple years and is looking to transfer that success over to the track.

Freshman Dan Grosvenor and senior Ryan Laemel will represent the Bulldogs in the 5,000-meter run. Both ran well during the most recent cross country season and competed in the 3,000-meter run during most of the indoor season. Grosvenor ran the 5,000-meters just once during the indoor season, placing third at the Giegengack Invitational.

Meanwhile, just like they did in the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season, junior Daniel Kemp, freshman Austin Loewen and freshman Torren Peebles will represent the Elis in the 110-meter hurdles during the outdoor season. Kemp recorded the top time of the three at the Shamrock Invitational. Meanwhile, with the onset of the outdoor season, junior William Rowe now gets to compete in arguably his best event: the 400-meter hurdles. Rowe ran well in the event in the outdoor season opener, finishing the race just less than a second slower than his personal record.

The Bulldogs will also enter two athletes in this weekend's field events. Sophomore pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan will look to continue his strong season. Although Sullivan's mark at the Shamrock Invitational was his worst of the season so far, he still managed to finish fourth—an indication of the brilliant year he has enjoyed. Freshman Luke Persichetti will enter the hammer throw, an event in which he competed for the first time at the collegiate level at the Shamrock Invitational.

Finally, the Elis will be represented by four relay teams this weekend. In the 4x100 meter relay, Yale's top team will feature Alexandre, Hurley, Jones and Udeh, while the secondary squad will include Peebles, Tolentino, junior Andrew Goble and senior Clifford Van Meter. Hurley, Jones and Udeh were all members of the 4x100-meter relay squad that placed 12th two weekends ago, and the addition of Alexandre should only improve the team's performance. Alexandre will be a busy man this weekend, also competing as a member of the Elis' top 4x400-meter relay team, along with Crusan, Hurley and Rowe. The secondary squad will include Jones, Kranjac, Udeh and Van Meter.

The Sam Howell Invitational will begin on Friday, opening with the hammer throw at 2:00 p.m. and concluding with the 10,000-meter race at around 10:30 p.m. Action will begin again on Saturday with the javelin throw just before noon and wrap up with the 4x400 meter relay around 6:00 p.m. A complete schedule is available here, and full results will be available on www.yalebulldogs.com at the conclusion of each day's events.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity