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Bulldogs to Host Giegengack Invitational

The legendary Yale Track & Field coach, Bob Giegengack
The legendary Yale Track & Field coach, Bob Giegengack

Feb. 5, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This Friday and Saturday, teams from around the Northeast region will travel to New Haven to compete against the Bulldogs at the Giegengack Invitational, held at Coxe Cage and on the Frank Shorter '69 indoor track. The team invitational, which was named for the legendary Yale coach Bob Giegengack, will include national-caliber competition. This could be a driving force for the Bulldogs to earn more qualifying marks across the board. After taking last week off from competition, the Elis are in prime position to continue lowering times and raising marks as the team enters the final stretch of meets leading up the Heptagonal Championships at the end of the month.

Participating teams include Albany, Colgate, La Salle, Monmouth, New Haven, Providence, Sacred Heart, SCSU, St. Joseph's, Stony Brook, Trinity College and UMass. In addition, the Bulldogs will face Ivy League rivals Brown and Penn. A full list of men's entries can be found here.

Last year, the Bulldogs had no shortage of strong performances, including sophomore Johnny Van Deventer's win in the 5,000-meter run and a second-place finish in the high jump by senior Samuel Fox. The highlight of the meet, however, was when Georgetown's Andrew Bumbalough ran 3:58.46 in the mile, shattering the previous facility record with an NCAA auto-qualifying mark.

This year, the Bulldogs will look to continue a streak of solid performances, which included junior Remi Ray's record-breaking win in 500-meter dash at the Boston University Terrier Invitational two weeks ago. Ray clocked 1:02.09 in the event, breaking Olympian Larry Miller's 1986 school record by more than three-tenths of a second. This weekend, Ray is slated to compete in the 400-meter dash.

The men's events start on Friday at 5:00 p.m. with the long jump. The first men's running event of the day is the 5,000-meter run, which is set to go off at 6:40 p.m. On Saturday, field events start at 9:30 a.m. and competition on the track will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the men's 60-meter hurdle prelims. A complete schedule of events can be found here. Buses will be available to transport spectators to and from Coxe Cage, and will be leaving Payne Whitney Gym every 15 minutes. Results will be posted on the Yale Athletics website at the conclusion of each day of competition.

Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity

This meet is named in honor of legendary Yale track and field coach Bob Giegengack. In his 29 years at Yale, the USA Track and Field Hall of Famer led the Elis to 183 victories, four IC4A titles, and 13 outdoor and four indoor Heptagonal championships. Teacher, coach, philosopher, tireless storyteller and international leader in track and field, Bob Giegengack spent more than 40 fruitful, exciting years in a career he loved. Helping talented young people to excel, both in their sport and in their studies, met his highest ideals. He trained his athletes, encouraged them and taught them strategies for success, always with the goal of mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body. From each athlete, he demanded the best effort possible, not just for the sake of individual achievement, but also for the good of the team. Beginning with his high school students at Brooklyn Prep, then at Fordham and Yale, and as an Olympic coach in Melbourne (1956) and Tokyo (1964), "Gieg" worked to fulfill his personal ideals as a teacher, mentor and competitor. After his retirement in 1976, he coached Yale's first women's team. The Giegengack legacy of talent, devotion and high ideals lives on at Yale today.