Feb. 26, 2008
NEW YORK - Over 115 Track and Field and Cross Country alumni and friends gathered at the Yale Club of New York City on Friday, February 22, for the annual celebration of track and field and cross country at Yale. In what proved to be a truly spectacular evening for this storied program, the 2008 dinner commemorated the 40th anniversary of the 1968 men's Heptagonal Championship team. As part of the festivities, many of the members of the '68 team were in attendance. All were mesmerized by the three speakers who represented the team and offered their unique insights about the group and the interactions of its members and coaches throughout that championship season.
The evening culminated in the announcement by Track Association Co-President Louisa Garry '87 of a gift to establish the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Track and Field and Cross Country. "I am thrilled to announce that an anonymous donor has come forward to endow the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Track and Field and Cross Country position," stated Garry. In her comments, she also noted that, "Due to his efforts, athletes on the women's team were given the same opportunities as athletes on the men's team and proved they were capable of successfully training, competing, and excelling at the highest level in the country."
Director of Athletics Tom Beckett commented, "I am delighted that one of Coach Young's former female student-athletes has chosen to honor his lifetime of dedication to teaching and coaching at Yale by endowing the Director position in his name. The University is forever grateful for her incredible generosity. The Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field endowment embodies the lasting influence that an outstanding teacher and coach like Mark can have on his student-athletes."
Young, the team captain, played an integral role in the exhilarating victory to clinch the '68 HEPS title. He returned to coach at Yale in 1980, and has guided hundreds of student-athletes on and off the track ever since. Among his many accomplishments, Mark was named National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1987, and has led his Yale teams to six cross country Heptagonal Championships. He was also named NCAA District I Outdoor Track Coach of the Year in 1987, winning the outdoor track HEPS title that year as well. Young was truly touched by the gesture of the gift, noting "I am profoundly humbled and honored by this tremendous tribute, which illustrates, above all, how participation in collegiate sports has an impact on athletes lasting well beyond their college years."
The Director for Track and Field is the 19th head coaching position endowed at Yale. As part of the Yale Tomorrow campaign, the Department of Athletics is seeking funding to endow all 35 of its varsity head coach positions. For more information on the Campaign please call Tim Ford at (203) 432-1419.