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Bleak weather clears with bright victory for golfers at Yale Invitational
Although the players might attribute their win to skill and a home-field advantage, a splash of serendipity gave the men's golf team the extra nudge they needed to capture first place at the Yale Spring Invitational last weekend. The tournment opened on Sat., Apr. 8 to clear skies and warm temperatures, and by the end of the day, the Bulldogs' results were as blithe as the weather. When they teed off at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, they were in first place out of 28 teams, with second-place Columbia, last year's Ivy League champion, six shots behind. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, an unseasonable snowstorm descended upon the golf course after players had competed five holes and forced Yale head coach Dave Patterson to call off the remainder of the tournament, freezing the Lions in second place.
As soon as Sunday's rounds began, Patterson could foresee that the weather would become inclement, but he allowed the tournament to continue so as not to give his top-ranked team an automatic victory. "It wouldn't have been fair to the field," captain Peter Schumacher, CC '00, said. "If we had cancelled the round right away, Columbia would have been quite upset because we were in first place."
The delayed cancellation could have worked to Schumacher's own advantageat the start of the day, he trailed Columbia's co-captain Scott Grossman '00 by one stroke, and the extra holes gave him a chance to overtake Grossman for the tournament's top individual honors.
Schumacher will have a second chance to surpass the Columbia golfer
this weekend as the Bulldogs head to Jackson, N.J. for the Ivy League
championships. At last year's championship, the Elis tied the Lions
for first place, but Columbia eventually captured the championship on
a fifth-man tie-breaker. "This year we expect to do better,"
Schumacher said. "We know we have just as much skill as them,
and it would be a disappointment not to win the championship."
After Columbia, Princeton poses the largest threat to Yale's bid for
the league title. The Tigers didn't compete at the Yale Invitational,
but they are Yale's perennial rival for the top spot in the league.
Continuing a tradition that has lasted over 100 years, the men's track team participated in an international exchange this past weekend. Once every four years, Yale and Harvard, usually bitter rivals, unite to form a select team that takes on the combined forces of Cambridge and Oxford. The exchange kicked off this summer, when the Elis took a two-week tour of Ireland and England. Their first stop was Birmingham, where they "had a lot of fun," according to Ryan Barrows, MC '01. "They treated us well, and we wanted to reciprocate." Yale thus played host to Birmingham on Sat., Apr. 8, when the two teams competed in an exhibition meet with Southern Connecticut. Yale won, but the weekend was about more than mere competition. As the British runners adjusted to life in the U.S.particularly the mysteries of American showers"a great network of friendships" developed, according to Matt Taylor, MC '00.
Yale will compete against Birmingham again at the Columbia Invitational
this weekend. This event will give Yale a chance to evaluate its Ivy
competition for the first time this outdoor season. The Bulldogs are
already setting their sights on the Harvard meet on Sat., Apr. 22, as well
as on Heptagonals, a meet with all the Ivy teams and Navy. Depending on
the results of these meets, Yale could send some runners to regionals
and nationals. In the meantime, however, the team is focusing on
Columbia. "We're not sending the full squad," Rob Doyle, DC '01,
said. "Our plan is to train through it and prepare for Harvard."
By not racing, some runners can fit in an extra workout this week and
avoid the pounding of an all-out race. According to Barrows, Columbia is
mostly "a preview to see how we stack up with the other Ivies."
As many Yalies look forward to a weekend of music and festivities at Spring Fling, the women's lacrosse team is looking forward to a decisive weekend trip down South. The Bulldogs hope to achieve victories over both Notre Dame on Sat., Apr. 15, and Duke on Sun., Apr. 16. Duke, which is currently ranked fourth in the NCAA poll, will be the main focus of the weekend. "We all know that Duke is the most important game because it is the only team left to play that is ranked above us," Megan Strenski, MC '02, said. "If we want to have a chance at making it to the NCAA tournament, we have to win this weekend."
A win over Duke is indeed imperative for the No. 14 Bulldogs, who
are trying to secure a spot in the 12-team tournament field. Last year,
after falling to Princeton and Dartmouth, the Elis needed a victory
over Duke to advance their postseason hopes. Under such pressure,
they managed a stunning 6-5 win over the Blue Devils as well as a solid
14-10 victory over Notre Dame. This year, the Elis feel confident they
can duplicate the performance after defeating Columbia 17-7 on Wed.,
Apr. 12. The key to another victory this weekend will be finding more
opportunities to score. On offense, veteran scorers Clara Gillepsie,
PC '01, Katherine Myers, PC '01, and Amanda Walton, SY '02, will look
for help from newcomers Clarissa Clarke, JE '03, and Sarah Queener, SY
'03. With the combination of young and old talent, the Bulldogs could
quite possibly secure the win necessary to propel them to NCAAs.
All materials © 2000 The Yale Herald, Inc., and its staff.
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