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Bulldogs Open Outdoor Season This Weekend

Kate Simon. (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kate Simon. (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a brief hiatus, the Yale women's track and field team returns to kick off the outdoor portion of the track season this weekend. Some of the team will be competing out in California at the PLNU Invitational while the middle- and long-distance athletes will head to North Carolina State University for the Raleigh Relays. 

Senior team captain Kate Simon leads the team after a strong indoor season where she set a strong personal best in the weight throw. She is easily one of Yale's strongest throwers in recent history and will look to close out her collegiate career with more personal bests in the hammer throw and shot put. Sophomore Evelyn Roberts will look to continue a similar trend after a solid indoor season where she passed the 50 feet mark in the weight throw. 

An important aspect of the team to watch for this spring is the trio of senior middle-distance runners Meredith Rizzo, Frances Schmiede and Emily Waligurski. As some of the strongest runners in Yale history, they set some of the fastest times across all three middle-distance events. In particular, Rizzo and Schmiede own two of the top three times in the mile while Schmiede and Waligurski own the some of the best times in the 1,000-meter run. In both cases, Schmiede set the Yale record this season. They will all look to carry that momentum throughout their final season of their collegiate career in both the 800-meter and mile runs. 

Yet the Bulldogs have a deep middle-distance roster, with athletes like sophomore Ellie Atkinson, senior Delaney FitzPatrick and freshman Gemma Shepherd, the three of which have helped propel the Bulldogs to strong performances in the relay events. After missing her first indoor season, Atkinson came back this season with a strong winter in which she broke the 4:50 mile mark. She was one of two Bulldogs to advance to the final at the Heptagonal Championship. Atkinson will look to use her momentum this spring. Meanwhile, freshman phenom Shepherd has been nothing short of spectacular in both the middle- and long-distance events. With a strong personal best of 4:51 in the mile and 9:25 in the 3,000-meter run, Shepherd has cemented herself as one of the stronger members of the team. At Heps, she finished an impressive fifth place overall in the 3,000-meter run, scoring a pair of points for the Bulldogs. She was also the second-fastest freshman in this event. Juniors Julia Borowski, Sarah Healy and Calleigh Higgins, senior Katrina Garry, freshman Arianna Lord and Rachel Suss and sophomores Emily Kaplan, Gabrielle Rinne and Kate Zendell provide additional depth to the middle-distance team. 

In addition to Shepherd's strong performances in the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Andrea Masterson has also run well in the winter. At HYP, she dropped her fastest time in the 3,000-meter run at 9:36.59 to take second, while at Heps she took ninth with a personal best of 16:48.88 in the 5,000-meter run. Meanwhile, senior Chandler Olson has had a strong year overall, dropping a pair of personal bests in both the mile and 3,000-meter run.

Seniors Jennie Callan & Rachel Jones, freshmen Lauren Chapey and Jane Miller and junior Kelli Reagan provide the team further depth with strong performances in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs this winter. 

Freshman Sydney Holmes had quite a debut season this winter, setting the record in the 60-meter hurdles en route to an eighth-place finish at the ECAC Championships. With a time of 8.71s, Holmes broke the previous record by more than half a second. She will look to carry this momentum over to the spring season in the longer 100-meter hurdles. Meanwhile freshman Lillian Enes has shined in the longer sprint events, having spectacular performances in both the 400- and 500-meter runs. Sophomore Alexandra Lee has performed well in the shorter 60- and 200-meter dashes this winter, setting a personal best in the former. Sophomores Aja Thorpe and Bridget Tobias round out the sprints team for the spring. 

Freshmen Elizabeth Adelson and Olivia Mooney both had strong debuts this winter in the high jump, logging some of the highest marks in recent history. Along with senior Lillian Foote completing her final season, they will look to carry their momentum over to the spring. In the horizontal jumps, senior Rachel Wofford will look to close out with strong PRs. She recently set a significant personal best in the triple jump and was very close in setting one in the long jump. 

Finally, Yale's pentathlete, freshman Natasha Feshbach, will look to draw from her first pentathlon at indoor Heps to have an even stronger showing in May. 

Yale's season kicks off this weekend at the PLNU Invitational in California and at the Raleigh Relays at NC State. 

Preview by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity