Bulldogs Head To Princeton for Second Postseason Meet
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—After hosting the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships last weekend, the Yale men's track and field team will continue with postseason competition when it heads to Princeton, N.J., for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships this weekend. The IC4A is a super-conference administered by the Eastern College Athletic Conference including schools from across the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. Athletes had the opportunity to qualify for the meet in different events by reaching certain entry standards during regular season and postseason meets throughout the year (times from both the indoor and outdoor seasons are used to determine outdoor IC4As qualification).
This year, nine individuals and three relay teams have qualified for the meet. Although the Yale coaches have not yet finalized which qualified athletes will be competing this weekend, most of the team's top athletes figure to be in action in one or more of their best events as the Elis seek to make their presence felt among some of the top athletes and schools in the region.
Star sophomore Kevin Dooney leads the team with qualifying times in three separate events: the 1,500-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races. He will, however, almost certainly run one of the two longer races, as he generally competes exclusively in distance events. This year alone, Dooney broke the school's 5,000-meter record and ran the second-fastest 10,000-meter time in school history. His top 5,000-meter time (13:59.06) came in a third-place finish at the indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships (Heps), and he nearly duplicated that time with the 13:59.38 mark he recorded at the Penn Relays a few weeks ago. His best 10,000-meter time (29:10.13), meanwhile, came at the Stanford Invitational earlier this season. Dooney figures to be competitive in either event, as he currently holds the seventh-fastest season-best 10,000-meter time and 14th-fastest season-best 5,000-meter time among all IC4A qualifiers. He is also likely to qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (the qualifier for the NCAA Division I Championships) in both events.
Like Dooney, freshman James Randon and senior James Shirvell also qualified to compete in the 1,500-meters at the IC4As. Unlike Dooney, however, Randon and Shirvell concentrate on middle-distance events and will likely run the race this weekend. Shirvell currently holds the 18th-fastest season-best time among IC4A qualifiers—a 3:42.72, converted from his Yale mile record time of 4:00.54 run at the Terrier Invitational earlier this year. The team captain is currently positioned to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 1,500-meters. While Shirvell will be competing in his fifth IC4As, Randon, as a freshman, will be competing in his second IC4As and first outdoor IC4As. His times of 3:50.80 and 3:50.34 that he recorded in the prelim and final rounds, respectively, of Heps last weekend snuck in just under the IC4A qualifying mark of 3:51.00.
Freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre is the only Bulldog besides Dooney to qualify for the IC4As in multiple events. His 400-meter time of 47.45 from the indoor season (the second-fastest mark in Yale history) is the 28th-fastest season-best time among IC4A qualifiers. The Elis' star sprinter is also eligible, however, in the 200-meter dash, where his time of 21.80 from the indoor IC4As earlier this year was literally just fast enough (21.80 is the outdoor IC4A cutoff time) to earn him eligibility for the outdoor IC4As.
Alexandre's sprinting teammate, senior Daniel Jones, is also eligible to compete this weekend in what would be the final collegiate meet of his impressive career. His wind-aided 100-meter time of 10.85 against Harvard earlier this outdoor season just met the IC4A qualifying standard of 10.85.
In the hurdles, juniors Daniel Kemp and William Rowe both hold IC4A qualifying times. Like Alexandre and Jones, Kemp remarkably met the IC4A 110-meter hurdle cutoff time of 14.85 to the exact hundredth of a second, and he did so just last weekend during Heps prelims. Rowe, the newly elected team captain for the 2014-2015 season, will have a chance to continue his exciting week by running the 400-meter hurdles—his best event—at the IC4As. He qualified by running a personal record of 53.55 against Harvard earlier this season.
Sophomore Duncan Tomlin will likely take part in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and his impressive personal record time of 9:03.20 from Heps last weekend (the 11th-fastest personal record in Yale history) easily earned him a spot at the IC4As. The time may even be enough to earn him a bid to the NCAA East Preliminary Round, although other runners could knock him out of qualification this weekend. If Tomlin is able to set another personal record at the IC4As, it would go a long way toward increasing his chances of making it to the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Another sophomore, pole vaulter Brendan Sullivan, is the lone Eli eligible to compete in the field events this weekend. Sullivan has improved significantly since last year, outdoing the IC4A standard of 15'9" (4.80m) at every meet in which he competed this season except for one. If he were to approach or break his personal record of 16'4.75" (5.00m) this weekend, he would have an excellent chance to place highly.
Finally, the Bulldogs will also be able to enter teams in the 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays. Although no official selections for the relay squads have been released, Alexandre, Jones, junior Dylan Hurley and senior Nnamdi Udeh seem likely to make up the 4x100-meter relay squad, as they have been the best foursome consistently all season. Alexandre and Udeh were also members of the 4x400-meter relay squad that earned Yale IC4A qualification at Heps last weekend. They were joined by Rowe and junior Mario Kranjac. The Elis' 4x800-meter relay team also earned IC4A qualification at Heps, and it was composed of junior Michael Grace, freshman Andre Ivankovic, sophomore Alexander McDonald and junior Jacob Sandry.
The IC4As will begin on Friday and continue on Saturday before wrapping up on Sunday. The distance finals will take place on Friday evening, field events will be scattered throughout Saturday and Sunday and most track events will hold prelims on Saturday and final rounds on Sunday. A full schedule is available here. Results will be available on www.yalebulldogs.com at the conclusion of each day.
Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity