The Columbia indoor track team hit the ground running in 2009 at the Yale-Dartmouth Tri-Meet in New Haven on Sunday. The Lions placed third overall on both the men’s and women’s sides, but underclassmen delivered strong performances throughout the competition.
The Light Blue men scored 43 points overall, while the women earned 49 points. Yale and Dartmouth took first and second in both meets.
Top performances came from sophomore Jeff Moriarty, who won the one-mile run, senior Ryan Hays, who took first place in the 1,000-meter event, and sophomore Jeremy Whyte, who competed in the men’s triple jump and nabbed gold in the 4x800-meter relay.
Outstanding underclassmen efforts also came from freshmen Justin Hollomon and John O’Loughlin. The two rookies took second and third, respectively, in the 500-meter race. Freshman Kyle Merber was also able to hold his own in the 1,000-meter run and finished third. Junior Stefan Vutescu also took second in the 60-meter dash.
Younger female runners dominated their team’s scoresheet. Freshmen Kyra Caldwell and Laura Meadors took first and second place in the 500-meter dash, respectively. Sharay Hale, a fellow freshman, won the 400-meter dash, while sophomores Melesa Johnson, who competed in the 60-meter hurdles, and Jackie Drouin, running in the 1,000-meter, each earned a second place finish in their respective event. Freshman Monique Roberts won the high jump, and fellow freshman Uzunma Udeh also earned first place in the triple jump. The relay teams also excelled, winning the 4x800-meter relay and placing second in the 4x400-meter relay race.
More than anything, this meet highlighted the increasing depth of the Lions’ field events roster. In Ivy League competitions, the Light Blue has generally been unable to match up with the size and breadth of teams like Cornell and Princeton, but the strong performances from jumpers may prove significant in the future.
The team’s next meet will take place this Friday at the Albany Great Dane Classic.