NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's track and field team held its first meet of the 2016-2017 season this afternoon, the Yale Season Opener at Coxe Cage. The annual meet, which is intended to give the Bulldogs time on the track before the season's scored meets begin, pitted the Elis against teams from around the area, including the University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State, Morgan State, and Sacred Heart, among others. The Elis sat their distance runners coming out of the cross country season, but saw strong performances from several freshmen in sprint relays and upperclassmen in field events.
The morning began with the men's weight throw, in which senior Luke Persichetti finished a strong second place with a throw of 15.47 meters. Sophomore Marcus Downs placed fourth in the event. The Elis' throwers look strong this season, as Persischetti placed second in the shot put as well. He was out-thrown by only teammate junior Jacob Hoops, who took first place with a throw of 16.19 meters.
The Bulldogs' underclassmen stole the show in the meet's jumping events. Freshman Spencer O'Neill won the high jump with a jump of 1.94 meters, and classmate Bruno Jednacak took third in the long jump with 6.77 meters, only 0.07 meters back from the event's first place finisher. Sophomore Austin Laut picked up where he left off last season, handily winning the pole vault event by 0.3 meters with a vault of 4.80 meters.
Although the Elis did not compete in many of the running events, preferring instead to sit most of the experienced distance runners who are coming off of the cross country season, several freshmen put up strong showings in their first collegiate meet. Freshman sprinter Kyle Macauley took fourth in the finals of the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.04 seconds. Macauley was also a part of the 'B' relay team, which also included senior Austin Puleo and freshmen Greg Moschella and Vincent Vaughns, that took second place in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:21.86. The 'B' team beat out the 'A' team, composed of junior Paedyn Gomes, senior Denzell Jobson, senior Chandler Crusan, and sophomore Gregory Campbell, which finished third in the event less than a second behind. These two strong showings indicate that the Bulldogs will be both strong and deep in sprint events this season, particularly in the relays.
The Bulldogs have the next month to prepare for their next meet, which will be the Yale Collegiate Invite on January 9 at Coxe Cage. More information, including a schedule of the meet, will be released closer to that date.
Report by Olivia Paschal '18, Yale Sports Publicity