NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's track and field team will have six athletes in competition at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Lexington, Ky., this weekend. The six, who qualified by having top-48 marks in their respective events over the course of the season, will compete this weekend to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. This is the second consecutive year to qualify to the prelims for four out of the six Bulldogs, and their previous experience should prove beneficial to them heading into this weekend's meet.
Senior Marc-Andre Alexandre will kick things off for the Bulldogs in the third event of the meet, the 400-meter dash. This is the second year in a row that Alexandre has qualified for the NCAA Preliminaries in the 400. He won the Ivy League championship in the event earlier this season with a time of 46.84, the third-fastest time in Yale history. Alexandre is running in the fifth of six preliminary heats. The top three from each heat plus the next six fastest times will advance to the quarterfinal meet.
Two Elis will hit the track in the fifth event of the meet, the 1500-meter run. Senior James Randon set the Yale record in the event earlier this season with a time of 3:37.93, which is also the third-best time in the NCAA this season. Randon is a seasoned NCAA athlete, having advanced through the preliminaries and quarterfinals all the way to the NCAA Championships last outdoor season, where he finished eighth in the nation in the 1500 and was named a First-Team All-American. He will be looking not only for a berth in the championship meet, but possibly a top-three finish at this year's NCAAs. Randon is joined in the 1500-meter run by sophomore Trevor Reinhart, who has qualified to the meet for the first time in his college career. To advance to the quarterfinals, Randon and Reinhart will need to either finish in the top five in their respective heats or run one of the next four fastest times.
Junior Adam Houston is the final distance runner competing for the Bulldogs this weekend. He qualified for the NCAAs in the 5000-meter run, and will run in the second heat of the event. The 5000-meter run does not have a quarterfinal stage; instead, the top five from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance directly to the NCAA Championships.
Rounding out the Elis' track competitors this weekend will be junior Paedyn Gomes, who is running the 110-meter hurdles. Coming off a second-place finish at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 14.00 seconds, this marks the second year in a row that Gomes has qualified to the East Prelims. To advance to the quarterfinals, he will need to finish in the top three of his heat or with one of the six next fastest times.
The final Bulldog, and sole field athlete, competing at the NCAAs will be sophomore Austin Laut, who also qualified for the second year in a row in the pole vault. Laut has had a remarkably successful sophomore season, placing first in four meets during the outdoor season alone. Like the 5000-meter run, the pole vault does not have a quarterfinal stage. Instead the top 12 finishers will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Report by Olivia Paschal '18, Yale Sports Publicity.