April 6, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs made the most of a busy weekend, with the squad splitting up to compete at two different locales. A group strong in distance runners and field-event competitors traveled to Princeton to take part in the two-day Sam Howell Invitational hosted by Princeton, while the other half traveled further south to Williamsburg, Va., to compete at the 43rd Colonial Relays hosted by William & Mary. Despite the loss of the Bulldogs' usual depth across all events due to the team split, Yale still managed a strong fourth-place finish at the Colonial Relays in a field of twenty teams, finishing the meet with 53 points. Going into the second day of competition, Yale was in seventh with 18 points. Host William & Mary won the team title with 101 points.
On the first day of the Sam Howell Invitational, Yale already had a few notable finishes. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase senior Eric Kerchberger was fifth in a personal best 9:19.26, moving him up to No. 15 all-time for Yale. Despite taking a fall in the later stages of the race, Kerchberger finished just off the IC4A standard of 9:16.00. Freshman Johnny Van Deventer also ran well, placing 14th in the 5,000-meter run in 14:44.88.
In the discus throw, the junior duo of Jeffrey Lachman and Nathan Noll gave a solid showing for Yale, finishing second with 50.23m and seventh with 48.15m, respectively. Both juniors qualified for IC4As in the event.
The following day saw further success in the throws, as junior Kevin Hickenbottom also qualified for the IC4A championships, taking third in the javelin throw with a heave of 58.48m.
Also on the second day of Sam Howell, sophomore Eric DePalo placed third in the pole vault with a height of 4.80m, qualifying for the IC4A championships, and freshman Itse Begho placed seventh in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:01.99. DePalo's mark was an outdoor personal best in the event, which ranks him No. 4 all-time for Yale.
A few states further away, other Bulldogs also competed well both Friday and Saturday at the Colonial Relays. Despite forecasts of heavy rains and thunderstorms throughout the weekend, the bad weather held off for almost the entire meet, allowing the Bulldogs to focus on the competition at hand. Some of the times were slower than hoped-for due to the wind on Friday, however.
The first day of competition at the Relays focused on individual events. The Bulldogs made their mark in the middle-distances, with a pair of second-place finishes by junior Jared Bell (1,500-meter run, 3:52.05) and sophomore Chris Labosky (800-meter run, 1:53.65). Additionally, David Soiles placed fifth in 400-meter dash, passing the rest of the field in the last 75 meters to win the third heat in 49.24.
Saturday's competition focused on an assortment of relays, with the 100-meter dash finals being the only individual running event of the day. Senior Victor Cheng placed third in the event with a time of 10.77, slipping under the IC4A standard of 10.90.
In the first running event of the day, the 4x800-meter relay (Matt Bordoni, Murat Kayali, Nate Clute and Christopher Smitson) placed fifth with a time of 7:39.51, earning a place at the IC4A championships.
In the sprint distances, the 4x100-meter relay (Reynolds Holmes, Cheng, Dan O'Brien and Brandon Giles) placed second in 41.81, also qualifying for IC4A's. The 4x400-meter relay (Bordoni, Marty Evans, Ted Galligan and Soiles) won their heat in 3:19.40 to place sixth overall.
The distance medley relay brought in Yale's only first place finish of the meet, with the team of Labosky, Soiles, Tadhg O'Callaghan and Bell running 9:56.53 to best second-place St. Francis by nearly seven seconds.
Some uncommon relays were also added to the schedule, giving the Bulldogs a chance to compete in a few unique events for the only time this season. The 4x200-meter relay (Holmes, Cheng, Evans and Giles) finished third in 1:26.61, while the 4x1,500-meter relay (Jake Gallagher, Kevin Brown, John Hinkle and Joe Kingsbery) finished fifth in 15:57.95.
This coming weekend, the Bulldogs will rejoin ranks to compete at the Bucknell Bison Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity