Season Begins on Saturday at William and Mary
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After an indoor track season that gave the Yale record books 17 new top-10 times and distances, the Bulldogs will head to an outdoor track for the first time this year. They will compete at the William and Mary Tribe Invitational this weekend, held in Williamsburg, Va.
The middle and long distances will be a primary arena for the Bulldogs this year; the roster boasts senior Kate Grace, fresh off her third career All-American honor at the NCAA Division I Championship on Mar. 11. Grace competed in the 800-meter run, the 1,000-meter run and the one mile run indoors this year and holds Yale top-10 times in each event, including two school records. She is also the current school record holder in the 1,500-meter run on the outdoor track, as well as the second-fastest Bulldog to date in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run outdoors. Grace has the potential to be a factor in any middle distance event on the track.
Several younger Bulldogs will make an impact on the middle distances this season as well. Sophomore Nihal Kayali came back after an injury-plagued cross country season and ran several personal bests on the indoor track. She also holds Yale top-10 times in the 800-meter run, the 1,000-meter run and the one mile run after this season, most notably the third-fastest spot in the mile. Kayali won the one mile run at the ECAC Championship. Another sophomore, Annelies Gamble, will look to contribute to these events as well after her breakthrough season this year, which saw her post the fifth-fastest school time in the 800-meter run. Freshman Sarah Barry displayed an impressive start to her collegiate track career by placing her name in the school record books at the fifth position in the 1,000-meter run. These athletes could contribute in anything from the 400-meter dash to the 1,500-meter run.
Freshman Melissa Chapman and sophomore Elizabeth Marvin were the team standouts in the 3,000-meter run this winter, both qualifying for the ECAC Championship. They also competed in the 1,200-meter and 1,600-meter legs of the distance medley relay at ECACs, proving their versatility on the track in the middle and longer distances.
In the sprint events, the Bulldogs will look to junior Gabriella Kelly and sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson. Kelly qualified for the indoor ECAC Championship in the 400-meter dash, running a third-fastest school record time in the preliminary heat en route to taking eighth overall. Jackson-Gibson competed in the 60-meter dash at Indoor Heptagonals and placed 10th this year. She has also proven herself to be the sixth-fastest Bulldog outdoors in the 100-meter dash and the seventh-fastest in the 200-meter dash. Freshman Jenna Hessert, junior Alexa Monti, sophomore Allison Rue and junior Emily Shulan could also contribute as Yale sprinters.
In the throws, senior Stephanie Scaramella will look to close out her Yale career with a strong season, after improving her standing in the school record books in the weight throw this winter. Scaramella currently holds the sixth-best distance in the weight indoors and the fourth-best in the shot put. She also has top-10 distances in the shot put, the hammer throw and the discus throw outdoors. Scaramella is complemented by sophomore Antonia Renker, who holds top-10 distances in the discus throw outdoors, the shot put indoors and the weight throw indoors.
Bulldog jumpers will get leadership from multitalented senior captain Eve King, who has competed in the heptathlon, long jump and high jump in past seasons. King is on the all-time school record list in the pentathlon indoors, the high jump indoors and the heptathlon outdoors. The roster also includes several rookies this year. Freshman Teresa Parent, freshman Kristen Proe and freshman Emily Urciuoli all contributed this winter. Proe set the seventh-best school distance in the triple jump and Urciuoli holds the third-best school height in the pole vault. Jackson-Gibson has also been a strong competitor in the past in the jump events and will hope to repeat this outdoor season. Senior Emily Standish was the team's lone high jumper this winter and will be a force in her event in her last season as a collegiate athlete.
The Bulldogs will get their first taste of outdoor competition this Saturday at the William and Mary Tribe Invitational. Field events begin at 11:00 a.m. and running events begin at 12:00 p.m. Results will be posted on www.directathletics.com and www.yalebulldogs.com after the meet concludes. The meet website, including a schedule, is here.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity