Grace Wins Two on Second Day of Heps

Kate Grace. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kate Grace. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Several Top-Two Times for the Yale Record Books

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs finished up their final day of competition at the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships with 46 points. All-American senior Kate Grace was the top team performer with two wins on the day, as well as one school record. She was chosen as one of the meet's Most Outstanding Performers. Five other individuals, as well as two relay teams, scored for the Bulldogs.

Grace completed her three-year reign over the Ivy League 800-meter run by winning the crown for the sixth straight season. Her winning time was 2:06.44, just a second off the fastest she's run so far this year (2:05.48). The second-place finisher, senior Kim Standridge of Cornell, was almost a second back, at 2:07.37. Grace's victory makes her a part of Heps history, as only two other athletes have won the outdoor 800-meter run title three times: Lauren Simmons of Princeton (2000, 2001, 2002) and Morgan Uceny of Cornell (2005, 2006, 2007).

Grace also won the 1,500-meter run, in school-record time. She shattered her own previous mark of 4:23.21 with a scorching 4:20.77. The second-place competitor was only 0.02 seconds back, making for an exciting finish. Grace was also 0.02 seconds off of the meet record. It has stood at 4:20.75 since 2008.

She was honored as one of the meet's Most Outstanding Performers for her two victories. She will share the women's honor with Sharay Hale of Columbia, who won both the 400-meter dash and the 200-meter dash and was a member of the winning 4x400-meter relay team, and Brynn Smith of Brown, who won the hammer throw and the shot put.

Sophomore Annelies Gamble placed sixth in the 800-meter run, the final scoring position. Gamble finished in 2:09.49, just 0.23 seconds behind the fifth-place runner and half a second out of fourth place.

Sophomore Nihal Kayali was fourth in the 1,500-meter run in 4:24.61, which is the second-fastest in school history. It is a collegiate best for Kayali by two seconds. She later went on to finish second in the 3,000-meter run. She battled senior Sarah Cummings of Princeton for runner-up status, finishing in 9:51.13 to Cummings' 9:51.57. The winning time, posted by senior Clare Richardson of Harvard, was only 9:49.36.

In the 400-meter run, junior Gabriella Kelly was fifth in 56.05. Columbia's Sharay Hale took the title in 52.40, over two seconds faster than the rest of the field. Kelly's performance today almost matches the time that she posted yesterday in the preliminary heats. Her time of 55.92 seconds is the second-fastest ever run by a Yale Bulldog.

Another fourth-place finish went to sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson in the 100-meter dash. She clocked in at 12.10 seconds to garner four points for the Bulldogs. Jackson-Gibson also competed in the 4x100-meter relay, which finished sixth to score a point for the team. Jackson-Gibson ran the lead-off leg, followed by junior Emily Shulan, sophomore Allison Rue and sophomore Jenna Poggi.

The 4x800-meter relay team finished in third place in 8:44.78, which is the second-fastest time in school history. Gamble, freshman Sarah Barry, Kelly and anchor Grace combined to finish on the heels of Princeton and Cornell. Each team, as well as fourth-place Dartmouth, would have broken the previous meet record in the event.

The Bulldogs' combined 46 points put them at eighth on the day. Princeton took home the women's crown with 132 points. Second-place and defending champion Cornell accumulated 113 points.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity