While the Connecticut boys and girls high school indoor track season is dominated by developmental meets in the regular season, one of the most anticipated meets of the season for coaches is the prestigious 38th annual Yale Interscholastic Track Classic at Yale University’s Coxe Cage in New Haven.
The event will be held on Friday (9 a.m. start) and Saturday (7 a.m. start) with athletes invited from Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Hillhouse boys and girls indoor coach Gary Moore said he and his athletes always look forward to the meet. Among the top Hillhouse athletes competing will be the coach’s son and daughter Gary Moore Jr. (shot put) and Leah Moore (shot put) and Talib McBride in the 600 meters.
“All of our athletes are competing at Yale this weekend,” coach Gary Moore said. “It’s important to us because we rarely get the opportunity to run our best kids together in the relays for us.
“Having some of the best competition in the region at Yale gives us that rare chance to do so. Fortunately, because of the strong competition, we have had our kids run national ranked times at this meet.”
Yale Interscholastic Track Classic meet director David Shoehalter, director of track and field at Yale, expects over 3,000 athletes combined to compete in the two-day event.
“We have created a high-quality meet experience, where the best programs in the Northeast come together to compete in a historic venue on one of the top ovals in the nation,” Shoehalter said. “Last year, in an effort to help schools from Connecticut gain qualifying marks for the state meet, we added the 600-meter and 1000-meter to the schedule (removed the 400 and 800). For many of the Connecticut schools, this is their only opportunity to run with the benefit of a banked track and it provides the chance to achieve outstanding times. “
Shoehalter added that over the years the Yale Track Classic has earned a great reputation among coaches from up and down the East Coast.
“Our officials and timing company are top of the line, and we run an efficient meet with a lot of excitement for those who compete,” Shoehalter said. “Last year, we added the component of the Yale Cup championship relays on Friday night.
“In a two-hour block in the middle of the meet, we gather some of the finest teams in the Northeast and they compete in four relays per gender for the Yale Cup Trophy. Each of the events is scored 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1, and the team with the most points after the championship block wins the Yale Cup.”
Greenwich girls indoor coach Casimir Loxsom is another coach who looks forward to the Yale Track Classic for several reasons. Zoe Harris and Mari Noble are among the top Cardinals who will be competing including the 4×800 relay on Friday.
“Yale is one of my favorite meets of the year,” Loxsom said. “It was the only chance I had before nationals in high school to compete on a banked track, and Coxe Cage is only a few blocks away from where I grew up so it’s a very special meet to me. Yale is one of the most competitive meets of the season, and sometimes when we go to the Armory (New York), there are only a few Connecticut teams.
“One of my favorite parts about the Yale meet is that it’s the first real chance to race a lot of Connecticut teams at a great facility to see where we stack up. The relay options on Friday also make it a great chance to get a night rest between open events, and race back-to-back-to-back days similar to how it would be at an NCAA conference or national meet.”