NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's track and field team heads to the Armory in New York for the most important meet of the season: the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. The championship meet will bring together the Ancient Eight to compete on one of the fastest tracks in the country.
The team has a lot of momentum going into the meet this weekend, particularly in the distance events. Most notably, in her three individual races this season senior Frances Schmiede has delivered three masterful personal-best performances, two of which were school records. Schmiede qualified for her second NCAA Indoor National Championship in the mile in what has been an extraordinary final winter for the senior. With such versatility in the middle distance events, Schmiede could run in any number of events and help the Bulldogs earn some points.
Seniors Meredith Rizzo and Emily Waligurski add to the depth of the women's middle distance team. Waligurski has fared well in the 800-meter run, placing fourth overall at the Valentine Invitational. Meanwhile, Rizzo has done a phenomenal job in the mile, most recently logging a time of 4:43.51 in a powerful performance at the last meet. Additionally, sophomore Ellie Atkinson also ran a strong personal best well below 4:50. The two rank amongst the top in the Ivy League for this event while Waligurski ranks as the fourth fastest in the 800-meter run and sixth in the 1,000m.
Meanwhile, the underclassmen have done a phenomenal job in the longer distances this season. Freshman Gemma Shepherd, for example, is currently the fifth-fastest athlete in the 3,000-meter run in what was just her first performance in that event. Earlier in the season, sophomore Andrea Masterson delivered a second-place for the Bulldogs at HYP, crossing the line in a time of 9:36.59. Though Masterson has not competed since then, she is also among the top contenders in this event.
The sprints team is also dominated by some impressive underclassmen on the team. In particular, freshman Sydney Holmes is not only a few ticks of a second away from the 60-meter hurdle record but is also among the top athletes in this event. Other sprinters to watch out for this weekend include freshman Lillian Enes and sophomore Alexandra Lee.
The team also has a number of strong field athletes, including captain Kate Simon, who has among the top marks in the weight throw, and high jumpers Elizabeth Adelson and Olivia Mooney, both of whom can potentially provide the team with points in their event.
The Bulldogs have also dominated in the relays this year. Currently, the team owns the top relay times in both the distance medley and the 4x800-meter relays.
The meet kicks off on the field Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. and on the track at 11:50 a.m. Fans can livestream the entire meet on the Ivy League Digital Network. Live results will also be available at the link above.
Preview by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity