Annual Grudge Match to be Held at Harvard
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's track and field team will take on the squads of Harvard and Princeton on Saturday, as is customary for the last dual meet before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. The HYP meet is always highly anticipated by members of the team, as it represents such a rich tradition.
The team is well-primed to take on its ancient rivals after posting many season-best performances in the last two weeks, particularly in the middle distance, sprint and jump events. Sophomore Emily Urciuoli hit an all-time best in the pole vault, clearing 12' 3.75" to win the event. This height also qualifies her to compete in the ECAC Championship meet in March. Sophomore Amanda Snajder, competing in five events over the course of the weekend, improved by almost a full meter in the long jump in her second attempt at the event to place second.
After not being satisfied with her performances in the pole vault during her freshman year, Urciuoli has been pleased with her recent marks: "After having two rough seasons last year, I am so happy to be improving and becoming more consistent in height clearances this year," she said. "As the season has been progressing, I have been feeling more confident with my ability, which has helped me become a more successful point scorer."
Junior Adele Jackson-Gibson, who suffered a season-ending injury during her fall soccer season, was back on the track in the 200-meter dash where she came within a second of her collegiate-best. Freshman Emily Cable has been the team's front-runner in the 200-meter dash all season, turning in a time of 25.33 last Saturday to place second of 32 competitors.
Junior Nihal Kayali recorded a season-best in the one mile run, finishing in 4:50.88, and sophomore Sarah Barry also ran her fastest yet this season in the 1,000-meter run in 2:53.82. Barry was second only to All-American Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook, whose winning time of 2:42.53 is the fastest in the entire country so far this season.
This season, Harvard sprinters have been lead by freshman Gabrielle Scott, who set the Battle of Beantown 400-meter dash meet record last Saturday in 56.35, which is the sixth-fastest time in Harvard history. Scott has also turned in the Crimson's best 200-meter dash this season, in 25.34. Shannon Watt also set a meet record on Saturday in the shot put with a toss of 47'3.75".
The Tigers have been strong in the sprints this season, lead by senior Eileen Moran in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Moran has posted times of 7.62 and 25.18, respectively. Junior Tory Worthen, who has won the pole vault at Heps in indoor and outdoor track the last two years, has cleared a height of 3.90m so far this season to pace Princeton's field team.
"HYP will be a tough test mentally and physically, as we will be facing many of the top competitors in the Ivy League," said Urciuoli. "Princeton has a whole troupe of pole vaulters, including the Ivy Champion from the past two years, and Harvard also has great vaulters. It should be a fun but very competitive event, and I am looking forward to representing Yale to the best of my abilities."
Urciuoli recognizes the signifance of the meet in terms of traditional Ancient Eight rivalries: "HYP is our last opportunity before Heps to post marks that the rest of the Ivy League will be afraid of. It is a traditionally competitive, loud, and awesome meet where we can take on our foes and show them what kind of a team they are dealing with this year."
The meet kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with the field events, while running events will start at 2:00 p.m. with the 60-meter hurdles. A meet schedule is available here. Results will be posted on www.yalebulldogs.com as soon as they are available.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity