Snajder Breaks School Record in Heptathlon at Heps

Kira Garry. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kira Garry. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Jordan, Garry Place in Top Three in Final Round

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The final day of the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, hosted at Yale's very own Dewitt Cuyler Athletic Complex, came to its conclusion on Sunday. After stunning performances by junior Emily Cable in the 200 and 400-meter races and senior Emily Urciuoli in the pole vault on Saturday, the team came together to earn 19 more points, finishing in eighth overall with a total of 26 points. Harvard won the meet (162 pts.).

After spending the season competing in at least three different events at each meet, senior captain Amanda Snajder and junior Elle Brunsdale were finally able to put their training to the test in the heptathlon. The event combined their scores from the 800-meter run, long jump, javelin, 200-meter dash, shot put, high jump and 100-meter hurdles, competed over the span of two days. The last time Snajder participated in the heptathlon was at the 2013 Heptagonal Championships, when she nearly broke the Yale record with a total of 4517 points. This year, Snajder shattered that same record (of 4531 points) with her final tally of 4736 points, contributing a point to the team's overall score. Her performance included a second-place finish in the javelin throw of 28.77m (94-05), and personal bests in the 100-meter hurdles (15.15) and long jump (first place—5.61m or 18-05.00).

Elle Brunsdale took the second-best score ever seen at Yale with 4644 points (seventh place). Her score includes personal-best performances in the 100-meter hurdles (15.23), high jump (1.52m or 4-11.75), long jump (5.46m or 17-11.00) and shot put (10.43m or 34-02.75). 

While this duo found success at every end of the track, another Bulldog looked to strengthen the team score with an individual performance in the triple jump. Junior Alisha Jordan took third place and the third-best time in Yale history with her leap of 12.48m (40' 11.5"), earning six of the team's points. The mark is a massive improvement over her previous personal best of 12.30m, and comes after a similarly impressive performance in the long jump on Saturday (5.69m or 18'8"). Jordan has long been the team's ace in the triple jump, but at just six inches off the school record, she now looks to be a competitive force at the upcoming ECAC Championships. Senior Kristen Proe also competed in the triple jump, earning a season-best mark of 11.02m (36-02.00). 

While acknolweding that the day's results were disappointing, Jordan was optimisitic about the team's future. "Our girls did an excellent job this weekend, despite what the results may show," she explained,  "I thank God for this team, and I am very proud to know that we have a brighter future ahead."

Sophomore Megan Toon was the only other Yale jumper to compete on Sunday. She reached a height of 1.59m (5-02.50) to place 15th. Meanwhile, sophomore Karleh Wilson stole four points with her fourth-place throw in the shot put. Her mark of 14.55m (47-09.00) came within two feet of her personal best. Wilson went on to compete in the discus, placing 12th (36.82m or 120-10). After earning a huge personal best in the hammer throw on Saturday, sophomore Taylor Eldridge returned on Sunday to join Wilson in the shot put. She claimed a mark of 12.42m (40-09.00)—good for 12th place, and was just edged out by freshman Kate Simon in eighth. Simon's mark of 13.17m (43-02.50) is a notable season best, as it is the first time she has broken 13 meters this outdoor season.

After nearly breaking the outdoor school record in the 400-meter dash yesterday, Cable returned on Sunday to compete in the final round of competition. She finished sixth (55.31), just off her personal best time of 54.37 from the previous day. Cable brought in two points for her team, and will have the opportunity to race in the event at the ECAC Championships. She went on to compete on Yale's 4x100-meter relay team, which ran its fastest time of the season at 48.05. Senior Kelsey Lin, freshman Katerra Logan and sophomore Mackenzie Mathews completed this squad.

A Yale team also competed in the 4x800-meter relay for the first time this season, collectively earning an ECAC-qualifying mark of 8:59:85. Freshman Emily Waligurski led off for the squad, followed by freshman Frances Schmiede, sophomore Shannon McDonnell and junior Kira Garry. 

Several long distance runners also had their opportunity to shine in the final round of competition on Sunday. Garry came within seconds of her record-breaking time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Her third-place finish of 10:24.05 added six points to the team score—a contribution rivaled only by Jordan's. She will also have the chance to compete in the event at the ECAC Championships.

The two Bulldogs who competed in the 5,000-meter run on Sunday are now eligible to continue on to the ECACS, as well. Sophomore Emily Stark placed seventh in a field of 18, earning a time of 17:05.08 that qualifies her for the meet. Fellow sophomore Elizabeth McDonald had already earned her spot with a personal-best performance earlier in the season, though her time on Sunday of 17:15.34 (11th) would also qualify. Finally, in the 3,000-meter run, junior Anna Demaree ran a time of 10:39.45 to place 16th

While this meet marks the final competition for many team members, qualifying Bulldogs will travel to Princeton, N.J. next weekend to compete in the ECAC Championships. 

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity