NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Led by a series of strong performances in the distance events -- including an Ivy League record by senior Frances Schmiede -- the Yale women's track and field team tied Harvard for second place at the annual HYP meet Sunday at Coxe Cage. The Bulldogs and Crimson finished with 48 points each, while Princeton won with 73 points.
The Bulldogs made definite gains over last year's performance, when the team placed third with 35 points. This year, the Bulldogs pulled closer to matching Princeton while also tying with Harvard. This year's successes were due largely to the middle-distance athletes' successes in their respective events. 27 of the team's points came largely from three events alone.
Most notably, senior Frances Schmiede managed to break both the Yale and the all-time Ivy League records in the 1,000-meter run with a monstrous time of 2:44.10. Her time is also by far the fastest in the Ivy League and fourth-fastest in the nation this year. The race itself proved to be incredibly competitive, with the top five finishers logging the fastest times in the Ivy League this year. Freshman Gemma Shepherd rabbited the race, kept Schmiede on pace through the first few laps of the race.
Within just a year, Schmiede managed to shed over seven seconds in a relatively short event to break a 30-year-old Yale record. Yale alum Louisa Garry, mother of senior Katrina Garry and former Bulldog Kira Garry '15, set an almost untouchable record back when the women's track and field program was first taking off in 1987. Gerritz also previously held the 800-meter run record for 22 years until alum Kate Grace '11 set the current record during her sophomore year. Schmiede stated, "Louisa is an amazing athlete and is still a huge part of Yale Track and Field. It was fun to have a team mate help keep me on pace for the first part of the race and to be able to do it on our home track."
Meanwhile, though the former Ivy League record was just set four years ago, the former record holder, Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth, is the most decorated Ivy League's athlete of all time, with a total of 7 individual NCAA titles, including a title in the NCAA XC Championships. Schmiede broke D'Agostino's record by well over a second en route to her 2:44.10 record.
Yet in the same race senior Emily Waligurski also had a tremendous performance, finishing third with a time of 2:48.15. Her time makes her the third fastest in Yale history, trailing only teammate Schmiede and the former record. Sophomore Gabrielle Rinne finished ninth with a commendable time of 2:55.81.
The team also had many other remarkable performances that bolstered their total amount of points. Senior Meredith Rizzo won the 800-meter run for the Bulldogs with a personal best time of 2:11.57. In the same race, senior Delaney FitzPatrick dropped a time of 2:14.40 for a third-place finish and two more points for the Bulldogs.
Sophomore Ellie Atkinson shined in the mile run, edging out freshman phenom Gemma Shepherd by just a couple hundredths of a second. Atkinson logged a time of 4:51.60 to earn the win while Shepherd finished half a step later in 4:51.66. Senior Chandler Olson also had a great performance, running the mile in under 5:00 for the first time in her collegiate career, finishing with a time of 4:59.95 to finish sixth overall.
In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Andrea Masterson dropped almost 10 seconds on her previous personal best to finish second with a final time of 9:36.59. Junior Kelli Reagan also had a commendable performance with a final time of 9:55.19.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Bulldogs also racked up some points in the sprint events. Sophomore Alexandra Lee ran her best time in the 60-meter dash this season, finishing second with a final time of 7.90s. She later returned to match her time from last week in the 200-meter dash, crossing the line in 25.90s to also finished second. Lee earned a total of six of the team's points Sunday afternoon.
In the 500-meter dash, freshman Lillian Enes managed to finish with yet another solid time of 1:16.30 against all Princeton athletes to finish second overall.
The Bulldogs were also successful in relays, winning the 4x800-meter relay with what is currently the fastest time in the Ivy League at 9:02.74. The Bulldogs won the race relatively uncontested, with three seconds separating the winning squad and the trailing Princeton relay.
On the field, senior captain Kate Simon finished third in both the shot put and weight throw with marks of 12.71m (41-08.5) and 16.33m (53-07). Sophomore Evelyn Roberts, on her part, finished fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 14.76m (48-05.25).
Freshman Elizabeth Adelson had an impressive afternoon in the high jump to finish second. With a final height of 1.67m (5-05.75), Adelson achieved the highest mark the Bulldogs have achieved in a number of years. Adelson's mark is the sixth highest, though most of the marks were before the turn of the century. Her performance is impressive in that it definitely seems promising that the freshman can improve throughout her collegiate career. Meanwhile, freshman Olivia Mooney cleared a height of 1.64m (5-04.5) for fourth place overall.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will return to action at the Giegengack Invitational: the team's penultimate meet prior to the Heptagonal Championships at the end of the month. More information will be posted concerning the upcoming meet as the date approaches.
Recap by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity