Dooney, Shirvell and Tomlin Impress in Ultra-Competitive Stanford Invitational
STANFORD, Calif.—As most members of the Yale men's track and field team competed at the Sam Howell Invitational in Princeton, N.J., on Friday, three Bulldogs ran in the 30th annual Stanford Invitational, held across the country in Stanford, Calif. The meet served as an opportunity for the trio to gain experience against an unusually deep and talented field that included around 3,000 athletes and teams from four of the top five ranked outdoor track and field teams in the country: Arkansas, Florida State, Oregon and Texas A&M. Although the Stanford Invitational continues on Saturday, all three of the Elis' events took place on Friday.
Sophomore Kevin Dooney put together yet another impressive performance in Stanford, continuing what has been one of the best years by a Yale runner in recent memory. On Friday, Dooney competed in the 10,000-meter race and finished with a personal record time of 29:10.13—the second-best 10,000-meter personal record in Yale history. He finished second in his section but with the 35th-fastest time among all competitors. Dooney's performance is hardly surprising, given the fact that he set the fifth-fastest 10,000-meter personal record in Yale history as a freshman last year and qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships at the conclusion of the most recent cross country season. With Friday's race, Dooney easily qualified for the outdoor IC4A Championships, and he will now set his sights on qualifying for the outdoor NCAA Division I Championships in June.
Duncan Tomlin also set a personal record and qualified for the IC4As on Friday. The sophomore competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, placing 13th in his heat and 43rd overall with a time of 9:10.85. Tomlin emerged as the Bulldogs' 3,000-meter steeplechase specialist during the 2013 outdoor season, placing first in the event against Harvard and at the Yale Springtime Invitational. Tomlin has made great strides in his second collegiate season, setting a few different cross country and track personal records and becoming of the Elis' most dependable distance runners.
Finally, senior team captain James Shirvell competed Friday in arguably his best event: the 1,500-meter run. Shirvell finished ninth in his heat and 16th overall with a time of 3:45.48, just more than four seconds slower than the personal record time he set at the NCAA Division I East Regional last year—the fastest 1,500-meter time ever recorded by a Yale runner. Shirvell managed to qualify for last year's Regional with a similar 1,500-meter time to the one he registered on Friday, although he might have to improve his time by a few seconds this season to ensure that he qualifies for the second straight year. Like Dooney and Tomlin, Shirvell also qualified for the IC4As with his performance on Friday.
Dooney, Shirvell and Tomlin will stay on the East Coast next weekend when they travel with the rest of their teammates to Cambridge, Mass., to take on Harvard in the two teams' annual rivalry meet.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity