Randon Advances, Dooney and Sullivan Finish Up Memorable Collegiate Careers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—After the first day of competition at the NCAA East Prelims, one runner qualified to the next round of competition, while four other Elis completed strong seasons. These Bulldogs all poured in extensive effort over the past few weeks and represent some of the strongest, most competitive athletes in the history of the track and field program.
Junior James Randon easily qualified to the quarterfinals on Saturday. He finished second in his heat with a time of 3:46.70. He stayed consistently within the top three of the heat throughout the entire race. The athletes started at a reasonable pace, then sped up drastically in the final 800 meters, ending with a blistering 55.10-second lap by the junior athlete. He will now compete again on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. in the next round of this event.
Junior Marc-Andre Alexandre ran a quick time of 47.06 in the 400-meter dash. With this performance, he tied for the 36th-fastest time at the East Prelims. Thus, Alexandre's 2015-2016 season ends here, as he did not qualify to the next round of competition. However, he will have numerous additional opportunities in the coming 2016-2017 season, when he will be serving as the captain of the track and field team. Furthermore, Alexandre has already run a strong season and this was his first appearance at the NCAA East Prelims, which will hopefully provide him with the experience to return next year and do even better.
Senior Brendan Sullivan and freshman Austin Laut finished off memorable seasons on Thursday. Laut tied for 21st with a vault of 5.00m. He easily cleared the 4.85m and 5.00m marks with a single try on both, but then could not quite achieve the next height of 5.15m. Thus, the freshman athlete did not qualify to the NCAA National Championships. Sullivan unfortunately struggled on Thursday and could not surpass the starting height of 4.85m. While this may not be the final competition as an Eli that Sullivan had envisioned, it does not change this stellar senior's collegiate career. He still holds the Yale indoor record and the second-highest overall pole vault in Yale history. Furthermore, as team captain, he led the team its first victory in the past five years at the annual Harvard-Yale Dual Meet and contributed to the strongest pole vault team the university has fielded in recent history.
Senior Kevin Dooney also wrapped up a memorable college career with the Bulldogs on Thursday. After struggling to keep pace with the leaders slightly more than halfway through the 10,000-meter race, the Yale senior dropped out after the fourth mile. While Dooney will not be able to finish his college career with a trip to Eugene, he still holds the Yale record in the 5,000-meter run and has won numerous awards for both cross country and track and field, from national awards, such as earning All-American honors during his junior year cross country season, to being voted captain of the cross country team this year and repeatedly earning team awards at both the cross country and track and field banquets. Both his and Sullivan's contributions to the team will be missed in future seasons.
Now, the spotlight shifts to sophomore Paedyn Gomes and senior Duncan Tomlin who are slated to compete on Friday. Gomes will be competing at 5:30 p.m. in the 110-meter hurdles, while Tomlin will be competing at 9:30 p.m. in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Full results from Thursday's events as well as the schedule and live results for Friday's events can be found here.
Report by Joseph Battles '18, Yale Sports Publicity