April 4, 2009
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Bulldogs had a busy weekend, traveling south to compete at two different invitationals on Friday and Saturday. One group traveled all the way to Williamsburg, Va. to compete in running events and relays at William & Mary's 44th Colonial Relays, while another group of mostly field event competitors participated in the Sam Howell Invitational hosted by Princeton. Despite only bringing half of the team to William & Mary, the Bulldogs managed to place 13th of 25 teams at the Colonial Relays, with a total of 32 points; the Sam Howell was an un-scored invitational. The Bulldogs saw strong performances at both meets, despite windy weather at each locale.
The Colonial Relays featured individual events on Friday, and relays on Saturday.
In the first event of the day on Friday at the Colonial Relays, sophomore Matt Bogdan placed fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running 9:26.47. Freshman Nathan Richards placed tenth in the event with a time of 9:44.79. Soon after, Chris Labosky was 11th 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:54.24. Another strong middle-distance performance was in the 800-meter run, when senior Jared Bell ran 1:53.41 to place ninth.
In one of the closest finishes of the meet, junior Remi Ray placed second in the 400-meter dash with an IC4A-qualifying time of 48.14. But while Ray won his heat by a mere one-hundreth of a second, he was edged out in the final standings by the top finisher of the second heat, who finished one-hundreth of a second faster. Sophomore Marty Evans also had an outstanding finish in the 400m, placing eighth overall with a personal-best time of 48.80. Evans came back with another great performance in the 200-meter dash, finishing with another personal best of 21.95.
During Saturday's relays, Evans led off for the 4x100-meter relay that placed fifth in an ECAC-qualifying time of 42.23, along with teammates junior Reynolds Holmes, sophomore Chris Stanley and freshman Matthew Bieszard.
The distance medley relay successfully defended their Colonial Relays title, leading most of the race from start to finish. Bell (1200m), junior David Soiles (400m), Labosky (800m) and senior Jake Gallagher (1600m) clocekd a 9:59.32, which ranks No. 15 all-time for Yale outdoors. Gallagher held off Virginia Tech in the final stretch, pulling away in the final 50 meters to win the relay by over a second.
Evans, Bieszard, Soiles and Ray came back at the end of Saturday's events to run the 4x400-meter relay, and they finished in fine form, racing to fourth-place with an IC4A-qualifying time of 3:15.09, improving upon their time from two weeks ago in Irvine, Calif.
The athletes who traveled to Princeton over the weekend experienced equally frustrating weather, but still had plenty of strong performances. Friday evening's throwing events were even postponed until Saturday due to gusty winds and approaching thunderstorms.
On Friday evening, senior Murat Kayali won his section of the 1,500-meter run, his time of 3:54.67 earning him seventh-place overall. In Saturday's sections of the 1,500-meter run, junior Kevin Brown placed fifth with a time of 4:04.46.
Another highlight of Saturday's running events at Sam Howell was junior Ted Galligan's fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. His time of 54.71 was less than a second off of the winning time.
In the jumps, sophomore Stephen Paquin was tenth in the long jump with a leap of 6.12 meters (20-01.00). The freshman duo of Yifan Chen and Adam Bao both earned top-ten finishes in the triple jump, with marks of 12.88 meters (42-03.25) and 12.32 meters (40-05.00), respectively.
But the most outstanding performances of the weekend came in the throwing events on Saturday.
Jeffrey Lachman won the discus throw with a tremendous effort of 53.39 meters (175-02), a personal-best mark by nearly a foot, and well over the regional-qualifying standard. Lachman's mark remains No. 3 on Yale's all-time performance list, but is getting closer to the 39-year-old school record of 181-04 set by Tom Neville. Senior teammate Nathan Noll delivered another outstanding performance in the discus, placing second with a mark of 51.15 meters (167-10). Noll also did well in the hammer throw, placing ninth with an effort of 50.27 meters (164-11), with Lachman right behind in tenth with 50.08 meters (164-04).
The Bulldogs also had strong performances in the other throwing events. Senior Kevin Hickenbottom placed third in the javelin throw with a season-best performance of 57.49 meters (188-07), while sophomore David Smith earned sixth-place in the shot put with a mark of 14.25 meters (46-09.00).
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will be busy with two meets again. On Friday, a select group of Yale and Harvard athletes will join together for the biennial meet versus a combined Oxford and Cambridge team visiting from the UK. The meet will be held on Yale's Dwyer track during the afternoon. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to Providence, R.I. to compete at the Brown Invitational.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity