Tomlin Runs with Region’s Best at NCAA East Preliminary Round

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

Sophomore Concludes Impressive Season at NCAA Championship Qualifier

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—The Yale men's track and field team had one of its young stars in action in Jacksonville, Fla., at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (the qualifier for the NCAA Division I Championships) on Friday evening. Sophomore Duncan Tomlin competed with some of the nation's best athletes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running a solid race but ultimately falling shy of advancing to the NCAA Championships. Merely qualifying for the East Preliminary Round, however, is quite an accomplishment in itself: in order to earn a spot at the meet, athletes had to record one of the top 48 season-best times in a given event among all the athletes in the designated East region during the outdoor season. The top 12 competitors in each event in Jacksonville advance to the NCAA Championships, scheduled to take place June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

Tomlin registered a time of 9:14.77 on Friday, finishing 15th in his heat and 43rd overall. Tomlin started off especially strong, and he was 12th in his heat through the first 1,000-meters. The race marks the end of Tomlin's season, and he certainly has plenty to be proud of. The San Diego native was one of only three Bulldogs to qualify for the East Preliminary Round (sophomore Kevin Dooney and senior James Shirvell competed on Thursday) and broke his steeplechase personal record on four separate occasions this season, ultimately knocking more than 19 seconds off his top time.

After competing in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter events during the indoor season, Tomlin concentrated entirely on the steeplechase during the outdoor season, placing 13th at the competitive Stanford Invitational, 10th at the historic Penn Relays and fourth at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. He then secured his spot at the East Preliminary Round by running a time of 8:58.34 (and thus achieving his preseason goal of breaking the 9:00 mark) in a sixth-place finish at the IC4A Championships. Tomlin was the only Yale athlete to earn All-East honors for his performance at the IC4As, and his personal record stands as the ninth-best in Yale history. He will undoubtedly be looking to move up that list next year.

Tomlin's race is the last of the Elis' 2013-2014 season. The Bulldogs will be back in action when the cross country season opens in September, while the track and field season begins in December. Announcements regarding academic honors and the incoming freshman class will be available on throughout the course of the summer.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity