February 12, 2011

Bulldogs Host Harvard and Princeton

More Records for the Middle Distance Squad

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton tri-meet on Saturday, many outstanding performances by the middle distance and distance athletes buoyed the Bulldogs. Although the team placed third overall, several runners brought home records over the course of the day.

The mile run was a nail-biter. Ashley Higginson of Princeton led for seven of eight laps, before tiring with 180 meters to go. All-American senior Kate Grace took advantage of the moment, and sprinted to first in 4:39.52. Her time makes her the fastest Yale miler ever by more than four seconds. It also shattered the previous meet record of 4:41.10, set by Cack Ferrell of Princeton in 2005.

Grace's time is the third-fastest in the country so far this season, and guarantees her a good shot at qualifying for the NCAA meet in March. Automatic qualification comes at 4:37.00. She is also 13th on the list for the 800-meter run for her performance at the Giegengack Invational last weekend (2:06.94), and is a mere two seconds off the automatic qualifying time of 2:05.00.

Sophomore Nihal Kayali also edged Higginson at the finish line of the mile run, clocking in 4:45.04 to the Tiger's 4:45.25. Nearly two seconds faster than her previous personal record, Kayali's mark is good for third all-time on the Yale list.

In the 800-meter run, sophomore Annelies Gamble had a major breakthrough, placing second in 2:11.85. This is a personal best time for Gamble, according to distance coach Mark Young '68, and places her on the record book as the eighth-fastest Bulldog in the event. She was less than half a second out of first place and just two seconds ahead of freshman Sarah Barry. Barry also set a personal record, placing fourth in 2:13.17.

Closing out the day for the middle distance runners was a victory in the 4x800 meter relay. The Yale foursome of Kayali, Gamble, Barry and Grace came from behind to out-sprint Princeton by over two seconds. The Bulldogs combined in 8:49.68, which is good for third-best in the Yale record books, and the fastest since 1987.

Yale's distance runners got their chance to shine in the 3,000-meter run. Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin placed third in 9:40.50, almost ten seconds faster than her performance last weekend. She was followed by freshman Melissa Chapman, fourth in 9:50.67 and seven seconds faster than last weekend.

Everything seems to be clicking for Young's group. He said of his athletes: "Everyone except Kate is a freshman or sophomore, so that's encouraging going forward, for sure. Right now, we've got a nice young group and it's good for them that they have somebody like Kate to train with. There's a nice dynamic going on there." This dynamic is exactly what they'll need as they look ahead to Ivy League Championships on Feb. 26th.

In the shot put and weight throw, senior Stephanie Scaramella was again Yale's top thrower. She placed fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 15.18 meters (49' 9.75"), which places her sixth all-time for Yale. She was previously seventh on the list. Scaramella was also fourth in the shot put with a throw of 12.39 meters (37' 8.75"). Sophomore Antonia Renker also competed in the weight throw. She threw 12.79 meters (41' 11.5") which gives her the eighth spot in the record book.

Sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson led the sprinters by taking third place in the 60-meter dash in 7.82 seconds. She was joined by junior Alexa Monti (seventh- 8.15) and junior Emily Shulan (eighth-8.16). Shulan also competed in the 200-meter dash, gaining another eighth-place finish in 26.58, while Monti placed 12th in 27.11. In the 400-meter dash, junior Gabriella Kelly was fifth in 58.00. Freshman hurdler Amanda Snajder was fourth in 9.09, followed by sophomore Dakota McCoy (fifth- 9.30).

Senior high jumper Emily Standish placed third in her event, with a leap of 1.6 meters. Jackson-Gibson placed sixth in the long jump in 5.38 meters. She was joined by freshman Teresa Parent (seventh- 5.28 meters). Parent also placed seventh in the triple jump with a jump of 10.99 meters, which places her ninth on the all-time best list. Freshman Kristen Proe also competed in the triple jump, and placed eighth (10.87 meters). Yale's lone pole vaulter, freshman Emily Urciuoli, was sixth with a vault of 10' 10''.

ECAC qualifiers from the meet are Barry (800-meter run), Chapman (3,000-meter run), Gamble (800-meter run), Grace (mile run), Kayali (mile run) and Marvin (3,000-meter run).

The Bulldogs have cleared their last hurdle before Heptagonal Championships kick off in two weeks. They will compete at the Armory in New York City.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity