Yale Track and Field Optimisic About 2003-04 Campaign

Oct. 30, 2003

With the graduation of only four seniors the 2003 - 2004 Men's Track and Field team will take on a distinctly veteran look this season. An influx of young talent should make an immediate impact. When combined with a veteran group of Heps and IC4A scorers the outlook for the Bulldogs is bright.

Sprints and Hurdles - As always, the Bulldog sprints and hurdles will be among the strongest in the Ivy League. This years group will have a distinctly younger feel to it as last year's freshman make the move into leadership roles. Sophomore Rob deLaski will lead the way after a great freshman campaign in which he was member of the freshman record holding 4X4. Look for newcomers Russ Kempf, an all-stater from North Carolina, and Omari Douglass-Hall of New Jersey, to make immediate contributions in the short sprints along with soph Michael Walker. Newcomers Evan Suzuki of Washington DC, and Simon Lim of California look to contribute in the long sprints and on the relays. Soph's Shomari Taylor and Mike Brown showed tremendous potential in their first year in Blue. Both intermediate hurdlers broke the 54 second barrier and Taylor was a scorer in that event at the Heptagonal Championships. Frosh Joe Hunt an all-State performer from Iowa will bring his considerable hurdling talents to the group.

Jumps - Look for continued success among the Bulldog jumps groups in 2003 - 2004. The loss of Heptagonal Long Jump Champ Anthony Thomas will be significant but Sophomore Shomari Taylor showed tremendous potential as a frosh, breaking the 23' barrier a number of times. The high jump should prove to be the strongest area of competition with Senior Derin Bray, Junior Jordan Chapman and Sophomore Jihad Beauchman and frosh Ashley Wright of Alabama. Every member of the group has been over 6'8 with Beauchman topping out at 6'10 last year as a freshman. Chapman will also handle the vaulting chores. As a soph he vaulted 15'0 and should improve to become a force in the Ivy League. He'll be joined by former high school teammates from California Sophomore Adam Presser and Frosh Matt Lachman. Last year as a senior Lachman was a finalist in the vault at the prestigious California State Championship. Look for Beauchman to lead the team in the triple jump, where his considerable skills took him over the 47' barrier a number of times in his freshman campaign.

Throws - Senior Nathan Lawrie leads a talented group of throwers into the 2003-2004 season. Lawrie brings a considerable amount of athletic talent to the circle (he's the starting tight end on the Eli Football squad in the fall) and will be counted on to lead a young group of throwers along with classmate Eoghan O'Dwyer of Ireland. Lawrie is a two-time scorer in the discus for the bulldogs and will look to improve on last year's 5th place finish in that event as well as break into the scoring ranks in the shot put. O'Dwyer was the team's top hammer thrower last year and finished just out of the scoring places at last year's outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Sophomore Doug Czerwinski will be rehabbing from elbow surgery but could contribute by next spring in the javelin. Look for frosh John Langhauser, an all-East performer from New Jersey in the shot and discus along with Pennsylvania all-State selection Bruce Pohlot.

Middle Distance - Long the hallmark of Yale Track and Field, the middle distance group looks as strong as it has in some time. Led by first team all-East, Senior Captain Robert Lobue, (5th on the all-time Yale list in the 1000m in 2:25.44) and classmate, Cross Country Captain Robert Dwyer, (anchor of the 2003 IC4A champion distance medley relay) the middle distance group will be extremely deep and talented with a good chance to qualify a number of athletes for the National Championships. The entire IC4A champion distance medley relay returns to New Haven to defend their title, attempt to break the school record in the event and qualify for the NCAA's. Junior Josh Yelsey has been among the team's most consistent performers in his two years in blue and should continue to churn out great races. Sophs Matt Boshart and Courtland Keteyian bring considerable talent and experience in the 800 and 1000m and will look to become league scorers in those competitive events. A tremendous freshman class will be led by Coloradan Nate Clute an all-State selection as a junior and senior. Brian Gertzen of New Jersey and Taylor Matthews of Virginia should also contribute greatly in the middle distances.

Distance - Senior Cross Country Captain Robert Dwyer leads an extremely young group of distance men who will be counted on to contribute immediately to the Eli program. Junior Lucas Meyer comes off of a tremendous sophomore campaign in which he established himself as one of the top distance runners in the east. Meyer just missed a qualifying spot for the 2002 cross country nationals and was the Eli's top runner in every race in which he competed. On the track he managed a 3rd place finish in the 5000m at the indoor Heptagonal Championships and came back the next week to snare 4th place in the same event at the IC4A championships. His real talent is in the steeplechase where he finished third in the Ivy League and was an NCAA regional qualifier. Junior Casey Moriarty solidly established himself as a quality performer running to an IC4A qualifying performance in the 3000m indoors. Look for Yelsey and Dwyer to contribute in Cross Country and when they're not handling the Middle Distance chores. This year's freshman class of distance runners is among the strongest in east led by California all-Stater David Napper and Massachussetts state champ Andrew Pitts. Both should have an immediate impact on the Ivy League both in cross country and on the track.