Championship Season Begins
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the Bulldogs will host the rest of the Ancient Eight at Cuyler Athletic Complex and Dwyer Track for the Ivy League Heptagonal Track and Field Championships. Heps will be the final meet for many Bulldogs, as only those that qualify for ECACs or NCAA Nationals can advance. This meet is also the most competitively charged all season, as the Ivy League rivalry is played out on the field and track.
Yale's sprinters this year look to be led by junior Emily Shulan, who has the team's fastest times in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash after posting season bests last weekend at the Springtime Invitational. So far this season, Shulan has run the 12th-fastest time in the league in the 100-meter dash. She will receive support from sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson, freshman Kelsey Lin and junior Alexa Monti.
All-American senior Kate Grace has once again dominated the middle distances in the Ivy League; her season-best of 2:05.48 in the 800-meter run is the fastest in the Ancient Eight by almost two seconds. She also has the fastest 1,500-meter run time, converted from her school record 4:39.52 mile run during the indoor season. Grace has also run Yale's fastest 400-meter dash this season. Her time of 56.49 is the 10th-fastest in the league.
Yale has a young, flexible group from which to draw in distances ranging from the 400-meter dash to the 1,500-meter run, including sophomore Annelies Gamble, sophomore Nihal Kayali and junior Gabriella Kelly. Each has a top-20 time in the league. Gamble is 11th in the 800-meter run and Kayali is fourth in the 1,500-meter run. Kelly is 14th in the 400-meter dash and 16th in the 800-meter run. Freshman Sarah Barry is 15th in the league in the 1,500-meter run during her first collegiate outdoor season. Sophomore Allison Rue has also run a top-25 time in the 400-meter dash.
The two distance events that will be contested are the 3,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run. The Bulldogs have not competed in the latter yet this season, but have had success in the former. Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin, an ECAC qualifier in the event last season, holds the eighth-fastest Ivy League time in the event, a personal record 9:36.60 at the Penn Relays. Freshman Melissa Chapman is right on her heels this season as the 10th-fastest Ivy athlete in 9:36.68. Kayali is 14th in the event. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Anne Lovelace currently has the 12th-fastest time. Lovelace, an NCAA qualifier in the event, ran a season-best of 10:58.67.
In the hurdles, freshman Amanda Snajder has consistently been the team's top finisher at 100 meters. Her season-best of 15.16 is good for 17th in the league. Sophomore Jenna Poggi and sophomore Dakota McCoy are 14th and 15th, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles.
Yale's relay teams have improved throughout the season. The 4x800-meter relay team, which recently ran the fastest time the school has seen in 25 years, is ranked fourth. The 4x100-meter relay team is coming off a season-best of 48.23 last weekend is ranked 6th in the Ivy League.
Sophomore Emily Anderberg (hammer throw and discus throw), sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson (long jump), senior Rachel Kuschner (discus throw), McCoy (javelin throw), freshman Kristen Proe (triple jump), sophomore Antonia Renker (discus throw and hammer throw), senior Stephanie Scaramella (shot put, hammer throw and discus throw), senior Emily Standish (high jump), freshman Emily Urciuoli (pole vault) and sophomore Natalie Wedell (discus throw) have all placed in the top-20 in the League in their events this season. Renker and Scaramella have been Yale's top throwers all season and should challenge for points this weekend with strong performances.
Events will begin at 10:50 a.m. on Saturday morning and continue until 5:45 p.m., while Sunday will stretch from 10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The official championship website is available here.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity