Tomlin Sets Ninth-Fastest Steeplechase Personal Record in Yale History

Duncan Tomlin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Duncan Tomlin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Sophomore Opens Bulldogs' IC4A Weekend in Impressive Fashion

PRINCETON, N.J.—The Yale men's track and field team opened competition at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships on Friday. Athletes had the opportunity to qualify for the meet, which continues on Saturday and Sunday, by reaching certain entry standards in different events throughout the indoor and outdoor track seasons. The Bulldogs had nine athletes and three relay teams qualify for spots at the IC4As, although only five individuals and one relay team are slated to compete this weekend.

Sophomore Duncan Tomlin was the lone Eli to take to the track on Friday evening, as most events are scheduled to take place during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Tomlin set the tone for the weekend, running arguably the best race of his collegiate career. The San Diego native finished in 8:58.34 and set the ninth-fastest personal record in the event in Yale history, picking up three points for his team in the process. Tomlin has made tremendous strides in the event since last year when he ran a then-personal record time of 9:17.50 at the 2013 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships (Heps). This season, he had set new personal records on three separate occasions coming into this weekend, the most recent one (a time of 9:03.20) coming last weekend at Heps. He outdid that time by nearly five seconds on Friday, however, and his current record time should give him a good chance to earn a spot at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (the qualifier for the NCAA Championships), although qualifiers will not be finalized until May 22.

"I had a good cross country season, and I think I've finally decided on [an academic] major, which has definitely helped me reach a new comfort level with my running this year," said Tomlin just prior to Friday's race.

Tomlin finished sixth overall on Friday, trailing five of the top steeplechase runners in the region, including star Georgetown senior Dylan Sorensen (8:47.37), who took first overall.

More members of the team are scheduled to be in action tomorrow, including junior Daniel Kemp (in the 110-meter hurdle trials), freshman James Randon (1,500-meter run trials), junior William Rowe (400-meter hurdles trials) and sophomore Brendan Sullivan (pole vault finals). The Elis' 4x800-meter relay squad of junior Michael Grace, sophomore Alexander McDonald, junior John McGowan and junior Jacob Sandry is also slated to run in Saturday's trials.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity