April 20, 2014

Yale Fourth at Mark Young Invitational

Mathews, Wilson Set New School Records

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This Saturday, Yale women's track and field hosted the annual Yale Mark Young Invitational at the Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Complex. The Bulldogs walked away from their first home meet with their best outcome of the season to date, placing fourth overall with 98.33 points. Dartmouth won the meet (113.50 points), which had 11 competitors in all. 

Two Bulldogs broke their own schools records on Saturday. Sophomore Mackenzie Mathews, competing in the 100-meter hurdles, ran a time of 14.43—the fastest in Yale history. Her record-breaking run snagged her third place and six points in a competitive field of 27 contenders. Sophomore Karleh Wilson was the second Bulldog to earn a mark never before achieved. She increased her previous record in the shot put of 14.29m to 14.59m (47-10.50)—nearly an entire foot more than E. Davis, who held the record before Wilson. Wilson's mark further earned her third place and six points for the team.

Senior captain Amanda Snajder also competed in the 100-meter hurdles, earning a time of 15.06 and placing eighth. She then continued on to join Wilson in the shot put. Her mark of 9.07m (29-09.35) was good for 15th place.

Yale's short sprinters also had noteworthy performances on Saturday. Senior Kelsey Lin set a new personal best in the 100-meter dash at 12.48 (7th place), followed by Mathews in 12.74. In the 200-meter dash, junior Emily Cable ran the 4th-best time in Yale history, 24.33. She claimed third place among 31 contenders, earning six points. Lin followed in 26.16.

A pack of Bulldogs competed in both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs. Freshman Emily Waligurski led a group of five in the shorter distance. She beat out 30 competitors to win the event, earning 10 points and a time of 2:14.71. Freshman Frances Schmiede was next to cross the line in 2:17.16—taking third place and snagging six points for her team. Sophomore Grace Brittan (9th—2:20.75) and junior Alyssa LaGuardia (18th—2:28.82) followed, while Snajder rounded out the squad in 2:30.00 (19th).

The 1,500-meter run resulted in a similar outcome. Sophomore Shannon McDonnell stole first place and 10 points in 4:34.13. Senior Sarah Barry finished not far behind in third, claiming six points and a time of 4:36.03. Sophomore Elizabeth McDonald also brought in points for her team, taking sixth place with her time of 4:38.61 (three points). McDonald's time marks a new personal best—continuing the trend of steady improvement she has seen this season. In 9th place with a time of 4:41.19 was junior Emily Stark, racing in an event much shorter than those she typically competes in. Fellow junior Anna Demaree's finish of 4:48.50 was a season best (11th place) and just milliseconds ahead of senior Liana Epstein (14th—4:59.09). Freshmen Jennie Callan and Emily Barnes crossed the line at exactly the same second, thus earning an identical time of 5:09.18, a personal best for Callan.

As expected, junior Kira Garry took up her place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Her first-place finish of 10:34.15 added 10 points to the team's score. In winning the event, Garry bested 10 competitors, many from the Northeast Region.

Two Yale competitors in the high jump—Snajder and sophomore Megan Toon—claimed season-best marks. The duo tied for second place, both at 1.60m (5-03.00), while freshman Lillian Foote placed 10th (1.50m or 4-11.00). Yet another top finish went to senior Emily Urciuoli in the pole vault, who posted a mark of 3.55m  (2nd—11-07.75). Sophomore Renee Vogel was 5th with a mark of 3.40m (11-01.75). Both Bulldogs contributed to the overall team score.

In the long jump, junior Alisha Jordan beat out 22 competitors to place second, nabbing a season-best mark of 5.58m (18-03.75). Junior Elle Brunsdale was 15th, leaping a distance of 5.04m. Senior Teresa Parent took 16th in her best mark of the season, 4.96m (16-03.25), while freshman Rachel Wofford followed in 17th (5.16m or 16-00.50).  Meanwhile, competing as the sole Bulldog in the triple jump, senior Kristen Proe leapt a distance of 10.84m (35-06.75—10th place). 

In addition to her stellar performance in the shot put, Wilson also added a personal best in the hammer throw to her list of accomplishments. Her mark of 48.78m (5th—160-00) is the seventh-best in Yale history. She just barely edged out sophomore Taylor Eldridge (12th—45.85m), who currently holds the eighth-best mark on Yale's top-10 lists. Freshman Kate Simon also tried out her hand in the event. She claimed a new personal-best mark of 43.01m (141-01), which was good for 15th place. Finally, in the javelin throw, Toon place 18th (25.36m or 83.02), while Brunsdale was 21st (23.83m or 78-02).

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity

The Mark Young Invitational is named for Yale's legendary Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Mark T. Young '68, who coached at the school for 31 years between 1980 and 2011. Young served as captain of Yale's track and field team as a student and led the team to an outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship during his senior year. As coach at Yale, Young led the Bulldogs to six Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships in women's cross country. The Elis also won four ECAC titles under Young's guidance. Young was named the national Cross Country Coach of the Year and NCAA District I Outdoor Track Coach of the Year in 1987, when he led Yale to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a first-place finish in the outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Young's influence and tremendous success extended well beyond New Haven, and he served as an assistant coach for the United States Track and Field Team in the 2000 Olympics.

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