May 31, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After a somewhat disappointing first day of competition on Friday at the NCAA East Regional Championship, the Bulldogs made a significant comeback in the field events on Saturday. Two Yale field event athletes had personal-best marks good enough to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Junior Jeffrey Lachman placed fifth in the discus throw, earning an automatic bid to compete at Nationals. Sophomore Eric DePalo placed sixth in the pole vault, missing an automatic bid by one place. Since one athlete ahead of him may opt out of competing in the pole vault at Nationals in order to compete in the decathlon, however, so DePalo still has a good chance of qualifying.
Lachman threw his farthest distance of 53.15 meters in the first throw of the finals. Due to a clerical error, Lachman's throw was recorded as 10 meters shorter than his actual mark. Luckily, after a petition and review, the results were corrected appropriately and Lachman was awarded his medal and spot at the Championships. He is currently ranked No. 3 all-time for Yale in the event; this weekend, he threw the farthest of any Yale athlete since 1970 (Tom Neville threw 181 feet, 4 inches in that year).
Fellow junior Nathan Noll also fared well in the discus throw, placing tenth with a distance of 51.09 meters (167 feet, 7 inches).
DePalo was tied with two other athletes for fourth place after vaulting a personal best height of 5.06 meters (16 feet, 7.25 inches), which necessitated a jump off to determine the automatic-qualifiers for nationals (the top-five finishers). He ultimately placed sixth, with his new mark earning him the No. 2 spot on Yale's all-time list in the event.
During Friday afternoon's competition, other Yale athletes competed. Senior Victor Cheng placed 24th in the prelims of the 100-meter dash and 34th in the prelims of the 200-meter dash. Junior Jake Gallagher placed sixth in his heat of the 1,500-meter run (18th overall), and Jared Bell placed 11th (32nd overall) in the same race. The 4x100-meter relay team (sophomore Reynolds Holmes, Cheng, freshman Marty Evans and junior Brandon Giles) placed 11th overall in the preliminary heats. Holmes came back just moments after the relay to place 26th overall in the long jump.
The complete field for the NCAA National Championships, comprised of 20 automatic qualifiers and seven at-large qualifiers, will be announced on June 3rd. Nationals will be held from June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity