PHILADELPHIA - The first day of the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships from Penn's Franklin Field is in the books with the Dartmouth men in sixth place, scoring seven team points.
That total is a deceiving figure, though, as only a handful of events rewarded participants with the finality of points on the first day of competition. The majority of the competition Saturday afternoon was preliminaries, setting up Sunday's exciting finals and the conclusion of the weekend.
"We talked last night about having trained all year to come to this meet to do what we regularly do, which is compete," coach Sandy Ford-Centonze said. "I said to the teams last night in our meeting that all I wanted was for them to leave 100% of their effort out there and there will be no complaints.
"Several people moved on to the finals and we still have the relays tomorrow, so overall I was really pleased with how things turned out. Even those who didn't qualify for the finals all set personal records and that's all we as coaches could ask for," Ford-Centonze added.
The final event of the day on the men's side brought the Big Green the majority of their points. Senior Ethan Shaw (Falmouth, Maine) picked up four team points with a fourth-place showing in the 10,000 meters, crossing the line in 29:37.78 in what proved to be an extremely close race of talented runners. The top five finishers were all within five and a half seconds of one another, lending excitement to the final stretch of a distance race oftentimes void of late-race theatrics.
In the 100 meters, junior Connor Reilly (Niskayuna, N.Y.) followed through on what the coaching staff was banking on leading up to the weekend and moved on to the finals with the fourth-fastest qualifying time of the afternoon. Reilly ran a 10.78 (-0.4) to take second in his heat.
The junior and Big Green sprinter also qualified for the finals in the 200 meters, running a 22.04 to record the seventh-best time of the day in the event.
Sophomore Jalil Bishop (Twinsburg, Ohio) ran well enough to move onto Sunday's final in the 400 meters, earning the last qualifying position with a 48.94.
The 1,500 meters also saw a Dartmouth runner move on to the second day of competition as sophomore Steve Mangan (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) qualified third with a 3:57.70. Mangan won his heat in the event, a feat he will try and duplicate Sunday afternoon in hopes of earning an Ivy title and add to his team's point total.
That total was aided Saturday by the fifth-place finish of junior Brett Gilson (Richboro, Pa.) in the javelin. Gilson's final toss of the day was recorded at 203-7.0/62.05m.
The final point of the day for the Big Green was earned by sophomore pole vaulter Josh Cyphers (Grantham, N.H.), as he cleared 15-3.0/4.65m to finish sixth.
Also advancing to finals on Sunday will be Lukas Zirngibl (Middletown, N.J.) in the 800 meters (1:50.53) and Evan Bryant (Baltimore, Md.) in the 400-meter hurdles (55.71) as both earned the final qualifying spots in each event.
It was just the third time Bryant had ever competed in the event.
Sunday will mark the finals for all other events.