NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's track and field team kicked off its first meet of the season this past afternoon at the Yale Season Opener at Coxe Cage. This developmental meet served as a crucial opportunity to allow some of the more inexperienced members on the opportunity a chance to get their feet wet before the bulk of the season gets rolling next month. This contest featured many local competitors like Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart University, the University of New Haven and Westfield State University, among other collegiate track teams. Though the Bulldogs opted to bench most of their athletes at this first meet, those that did compete had shining season debut performances.
Senior captain Kate Simon started the day off with a commanding performance in the weight throw, performing at almost peak form with a monstrous throw of 16.55m (54-03.75) to win the event. This mark is just four inches of her personal best of 16.65m set last winter. Additionally, sophomore Evelyn Roberts had a great first performance, throwing for a distance of 15.04m (49-04.25). Freshman Natasha Feshbach made her collegiate debut in the shot put with a throw of 8.68m (28-05.75)
Also on the field, senior Rachel Wofford took third in the long jump with a leap of 5.31m (17-05) to take third in her event. The high jump team had an especially strong performance today, with freshmen Olivia Mooney and Elizabeth Adelson taking third and fifth, respectively, with leaps of 1.65m (5-05) and 1.60m (5-03), respectively. In fact, Mooney's mark ties her for the sixth-best performance in Yale history. Meanwhile, senior Lillian Foote tie for eighth with a mark of 1.55m (5-01).
The women did not have many competitors on the track today, but those that did perform had marvelous performances. The pair of Bulldogs in the 1,000-meter run took first and second in this event. Junior Calleigh Higgins won the race with a time of 2:58.87, yet freshman Arianna Lord was just a few steps behind, crossing the line in 2:59.33. Meanwhile, senior Delaney FitzPatrick took third in the 800-meter run with a finishing time of 2:19.63.
However, arguably one of the strongest performances of the afternoon came in the 500-meter run, where freshman recruit Lillian Enes took second with an incredibly impressive collegiate debut performance. Her time of 1:16.30 gives her the eighth-fastest time in a very fast event. With this just being her collegiate debut, there is no telling how much better Enes will improve as the season ramps up in the coming months. Sophomore Bridget Tobias also had a strong performance, coming in fifth with a time of 1:21.55.
Yet somehow freshman Sydney Holmes managed to have an equally powerful, if not more amazing performance in the 60-meter hurdles. Holmes made her debut in the preliminary round with a fast time of 8.97s to qualify for the final. Yet Holmes had an incredibly impressive performance in the final, crossing the line in 8.81s. To put this time into context, her first performance at the collegiate level is just a few hundredths of a second off the current record set by Mackenzie Matthews '16. This is an exciting time for the Bulldogs as the freshman class seems to be competing at a calibre that has not been seen in a while.
Senior Chandler Olson dominated throughout the entire course of the 3,000-meter run. She easily darted ahead of the pack to set the pace and took a commanding lead. On the final lap, she was completely unchallenged and crossed the finish line first with a time of 10:09.07. Yet other Bulldogs also had outstanding performances in this event, especially the incoming class of recruits. Freshman Lauren Chapey finished third with a time of 10:16.76 while freshman Jane Miller took fifth with a time of 10:18.31. Senior Rachel Jones and freshman Rachel Suss finished close to each other in seventh- and eighth-places while senior Jennie Callan and junior Julia Borowski wrapped up the squad of Bulldogs competing by taking tenth- and eleventh-places, respectively. Meanwhile, sophomore Emily Kaplan took second in the mile run with a time of 5:14.52, while junior Katrina Garry and freshman Hannah Steffke took fifth- and seventh-places, respectively.
The Bulldogs will now take a break from competition until the bulk of the season is underway. The team will ring in the new year at home on Jan. 14 with the Yale Collegiate Invitational at Coxe Cage. More information on the meet will be released as the date draws closer.
Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity