April 13, 2011

Bulldogs Host Harvard in Annual Grudge Match

Team Excited for Competitive Atmosphere

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the Yale Bulldogs will descend on the Dewitt-Cuyler Track, their home turf, as they play host to the Harvard Crimson. The team looks forward to this meet not only as a chance to show up its rival, but also as an opportunity to vie for spots in the bi-annual Harvard-Yale vs. Oxford-Cambridge meet this summer.

Although both teams have been battling illness and injury recently, the athletes are excited to compete.

"This is the week where everyone who can run without a limp will be competing" due to the special competitive nature between the schools, said distance coach Mark Young '68.

After making her outdoor debut last weekend by winning the 1,500-meter run at the Princeton-Penn-Yale tri-meet, All-American senior Kate Grace will surely be a force to be reckoned with in the middle distances against Harvard. Grace has won five consecutive 800-meter run titles at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, both indoors and out, and shows no sign of loosening her hold on the event. Though she has not yet competed in her signature event this spring, her time last weekend is currently the fastest 1,500-meter run in the Ivy League.

The team will also expect contributions from freshman Sarah Barry, freshman Melissa Chapman, sophomore Annelies Gamble, sophomore Nihal Kayali, junior Anne Lovelace and sophomore Elizabeth Marvin. Gamble and junior Gabriella Kelly have the fastest 800-meter run times of the two teams so far this season.

Sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson, junior Alexa Monti, sophomore Allison Rue and junior Emily Shulan will hope to give Harvard sprinters a run for their money in the short distances. In the hurdle events, Yale will look to sophomore Dakota McCoy and freshman Amanda Snajder. Yale's relay teams are also neck-and-neck with those of Harvard, off by less than a second in the 4x400 meter relay, and just 0.10 seconds ahead in the 4x100 meter relay. These closely matched teams will make for some exciting races.

In the jumps, freshman Emily Urciuoli and senior Emily Standish will be athletes to watch for, along with Jackson-Gibson and the trio of freshmen: Beata Fiszer, Teresa Parent and Kristen Proe.

Yale throwers sophomore Emily Anderberg, senior Rachel Kuschner and sophomore Natalie Wedell have been improving in leaps and bounds so far this season. They will complement established Bulldogs senior Stephanie Scaramella and sophomore Antonia Renker in the four throwing events.

In last year's rendition of this meet, the Bulldogs won eight of 11 track events, but fell to the Crimson 93-69. If they can pick up second- and third-place finishes, in addition to maintaining their performances on the track, the Bulldogs might be able to take home the title.

The events will begin at 1 p.m. and last until 5:00 p.m., when the 4x400 meter relay kicks off. Buses leave for the track every fifteen minutes from Payne Whitney Gym. Meet schedule is available here.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity