Yale Season Opener Hosted at Coxe Cage
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—On Dec. 7, the Yale women's track and field team will launch its indoor season with the Yale Season Opener, hosted by the university in the newly renovated Coxe Cage. The women of Yale cross country will waste no time getting back to the starting line, as long and middle-distance runners join the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers of Yale track and field. The indoor season features most of the same events as outdoor track, with the exception of a few events in which athletes compete in races of a shorter distance. Throwing events also vary between the two seasons.
Senior captain Amanda Snajder will lead the squad in its 2013-14 indoor season. During the previous indoor track season, Snajder set the school record in the pentathlon—an event comprising an athlete's score in the shot put, long jump, high jump, 60-meter hurdles and 800-meter run. As the only member of the team to compete frequently in running, jumping and throwing events, Snajder earned personal bests in five separate events last year throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Sophomore Sydney Cureton will return to lead the team in the 60-meter dash, the season's shortest sprinting event and one in which she frequently took top spots last year. Cureton will compete alongside freshman Katerra Logan, who enters her first year with an impressive personal record in the 200-meter dash.
Junior Emily Cable will enter the season with a stellar record, most notably including a 400-meter dash time of 56.18, the best of any Bulldog to date. She earned her title at the indoor ECAC Championships last year. Her other sprinting events include the 200-meter and 500-meter dashes, and occasionally, jumping and throwing events as well.
Other established sprinters include seniors Jenna Hessert and Kelsey Lin, who both earned their personal records in the 200-meter dash last year. Hessert also competes in longer races, including the 500-meter dash, while Lin takes on shorter sprints, including the 60-meter dash. Sophomore Grace Brittan, a 400-meter dash competitor, will also return to compete this season.
Sophomore Shannon McDonnell is likely to be a standout in short to middle-distance events this year, including the 400, 500, 800 and 1,000-meter races. Last year, she qualified to compete in the ECAC Championships in the 500 and 800-meter races, as well as contributing to the team's indoor 4x400-meter relay team. McDonnell is one of a few Yale cross country runners who tend towards middle rather than long-distance events during the track and field season. Seniors Sarah Barry and Wendy DeWolf, junior Alyssa LaGuardia and sophomore Anna-Sophie Harling will also return to shorter events, likely including the 800-meter and 500-meter races, and possibly, the 1,000-meter run.
In addition, a number of new recruits fresh from their first collegiate cross country season have the opportunity to find their niche among the events of indoor track and field, many of which are not competed in high school. During the cross country season, Chandler Olson and Meredith Rizzo emerged as the freshmen to watch. While Rizzo competed in events as short as the 800-meter run during high school, she also participated in the 1,600-meter. Olson also boasts of a notable 1,600-meter best (4:52), as well as experience in the 3,200-meter race.
Freshman Emily Waligurski could also be one to look out for in the indoor season, based on her contributions during the cross country season. Other freshmen with experience in the longer races of track and field include Emily Barnes, Jennie Callan, Delaney FitzPatrick and Rachel Jones.
Long-distance front-runners from the cross country season will likely carry their success onto the track. Though junior Kira Garry's specialty event is the 3,000-kilometer steeplechase of outdoor track and field, she could look to compete in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter races this winter. Senior Liana Epstein also focused her efforts on the outdoor season last year, though she could step up to compete in distance events ranging from 1,500 to 5,000-meters during this coming season.
The 2013 cross country captain, senior Millie Chapman, contributed to Yale's second-place finish in the distance medley relay last year at the annual Giegengack Invitational. The relay is a combination of four events—the 400, 800, 1,200 and 1,600-meter races. The four lengths allow for the opportunity to see runners who specialize in various races work as one unit. Chapman could look to take up her place in the relay again this year, or contend as an individual in a multitude of long-distance events.
As a freshman, Mackenzie Mathews was quickly recognized as the team's most successful hurdler. With first and second-place finishes at H-Y-P and Yale-Dartmouth-Columbia in the 60-meter hurdles, Mathews has the opportunity to climb to the very top of Yale's record lists this season. Other possible competitors in the hurdles include junior Elle Brunsdale and sophomore Vanessa Noelte, both of whom also compete in jumping, sprinting and throwing events.
Leading the Yale squad of jumpers in 2013 was junior Alisha Jordan, who nabbed second-place finishes in the triple jump at both H-Y-P and the Giegengack Invitational. Jordan also competes in the 200-meter dash. She is joined by senior Teresa Parent, a frequent competitor in the long jump. Fellow senior Kristen Proe specializes in the triple jump, while also competing in two running events—the 200-meter and 400-meter races. Yale's main competitor in the high jump, sophomore Megan Toon, will this year be supported by freshman Lillian Foote, who enters the season with a long list of championship titles in the high jump. Finally, freshman Rachel Wofford will compete to hold her own among upperclassmen in the long and triple jumps.
Senior Emily Urciuoli will return for one more year to lead the team in the pole vault. Urciuoli currently holds the third-spot on Yale's top-ten lists of all-time best performances. Her accomplishments include a first-place finish at the Giegengack Invitational and ninth-place finish at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Sophomore Renee Vogel, who earned her best mark last year at the H-Y-P meet, and junior Catherine Shih, will also be out to clear greater heights this year.
Entering the fray as a thrower for the Bulldogs is freshman Kate Simon, a contender in the shot put and discus. She will be led by sophomore star Karleh Wilson, who wasted no time her freshman year in breaking the Yale shot put record. Wilson's repertoire also includes the weight throw. Sophomore Taylor Eldridge rounds out this squad, and will likely compete in both the shot put and weight throw—an event she claimed a personal best in last year.
The Yale Season Opener will begin with field events at 9:00 a.m. Results will be posted on yalebulldogs.com when available. A full schedule and other information can be found here.
Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity