TRACK AND FIELD: Yale continues to improve in anticipation of Heps

Last weekend, split between Boston University’s Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational and Harvard’s Crimson Elite, the Yale track and field teams continued to set PRs and crack school all-time leaderboards.

Peter Williams

1:02 am, Feb 07, 2024

Contributing Reporter

Yale Athletics

On Friday and Saturday, Yale’s track and field teams headed back to Boston for the second weekend in a row as they looked to continue their upward trajectory this season.

The teams were split between two meets, with many of both the men’s and women’s teams’ throwers at Harvard’s Crimson Elite on Friday, Feb. 2, and most of the teams’ runners right across the Charles River at Boston University’s Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational. With a number of personal records and top-10 all-time school finishes across both the men’s and women’s teams, the Bulldogs continued to steadily improve upon their performances in anticipation of the Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships, also known as Heps.

“Lots of progress across all event groups this past week,” Yale track and field coach David Shoehalter wrote to the News. “We look to continue that good work this weekend at home Saturday at the Giegengack Invitational and back at BU for the Valentine Invite.” 

On the men’s team, a collection of strong performers were led by Nolan Recker ’26 and Winslow Atkeson ’25. At Harvard on Friday, Recker broke a 37-year school record in the weight throw with a hurl of 20.39m, earning him a second-place finish that was just 0.15m behind the gold medal winner from University of Connecticut. Alongside Recker at the Scarlet & White Invitational, Isiah Udofia ’26 also had himself a day with two personal records — a 7.27m long jump, which earned him fifth place, and a 7.04-second finish in the 60m dash. 

On Saturday at Boston University, Atkeson had the showcase finish for the Bulldogs, breaking four minutes in the mile with a 3:59.39 finish, putting him third on Yale’s all-time list. Also setting PR’s for the Bulldogs, though, were Kit Colson ’25 with a 21.87 second finish in the 200m, Isiah Udofia with his third PR of the weekend in the form of a 22.13-second 200m, Andrew Farr ’26 with a 1:05 finish in the 500m, Owen Karas ’26 and Calvin Katz ’25 with 4:03 and 4:05 finishes in the mile, respectively, and Leo Brewer ’25 and Karas with 8:05 and 8:08 finishes in the 3k. Brewer and Karas’ finishes placed them sixth and ninth on Yale’s all-time lists.

“I think the team is starting to figure out who we are and we need to stay healthy and keep moving in the right direction,” men’s team captain Matt Appel ’24 wrote to the News. “About this point in the season is when we start honing in on HEPS making sure we’re in the position we need to be in to make our final preparations count.”

Meanwhile, the women’s team had similarly strong finishes across the two meets. At Harvard on Friday, Lucija Grd ’27 kicked things off in the 60m hurdles with an 8.57-second finish, just 0.01 seconds off of her PR, which happens to also be the school record. In the field events, Eileen Yang ’24 vaulted herself over a 3.62m-high bar, closing in on her PR of 3.85m, and Maria Leskovec ’24 closed in on her PR in the weight throw with a 17.39m toss.

Across the Charles on Saturday, Mira Thakur ’24 set a PR in the 400m with a 56.51-second finish, putting her fifth on Yale’s all-time list, and another in the 200m with a time of 24.98 seconds, putting her ninth on Yale’s all-time list. Women’s team captain Bella Bergloff ’24 specifically highlighted Thakur’s leadership thus far into the season. Right behind her was Sophie Spokes ’27 with her own PR of 25.68 seconds. In the slightly longer 500m, Bridget Vitu ’25 set a PR of 1:15.39, and Alexandra Bonn ’27 set one of her own in the triple jump with successive leaps accumulating 11.75m. As women’s coach Taryn Sheehan explained, these performances and many others combined for a number of cracks to the Yale all-time top-10 leaderboards.

“Our women’s side took some big leaps forward this past weekend,” Sheehan wrote to the News. “A number of women etched their names into the top 10 All Time lists, including: Dominique Romain in long jump, Juliette Kosmont in the 60m dash, Victoria Guerrier in the 500m run, Gloria Guerrier in the 400m, Alex Bonn in the triple jump, Bharathi Subbiah in the triple jump, Makayla Harris in the weight throw.”

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the teams will split up once more next weekend between Boston University’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational and Yale’s own home meet at Coxe Cage, the 17th Giegengack Invitational. These are their last two meets before Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held the weekend of Feb. 24-25 in Cambridge, Mass. at Gordon Indoor Track.

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