Feb. 14, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Bulldog women's track and field team fought hard and turned in impressive performances at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton track and field tri-meet on Saturday afternoon, but unfortunately came up short against the extremely fast and deep competition. The meet, hosted by Harvard at Gordon Track, was the last meet before the team enters the championship season. The team was led by the performers in the 800-meter run who captured first and third places. The Bulldogs placed third this year with 23 points, while Harvard won with 77 points followed by Princeton with 59 points. The Bulldogs also placed third in 2008 at the H-Y-P meet.
The best race of the day for the Bulldogs was the 800-meter run. The team was led by the ECAC Championships qualifying performance by sophomore Kate Grace, who won the event in 2:10.85, finishing ahead of the second-place finisher by more than two-and-one-half seconds. Her performance earned the team five points. For Grace, this is her first time running the 800-meter run indoors, but she has had a successful indoor season so far, setting a new personal record by six seconds in placing second in the mile run at the Giegengack Invitational last Saturday. Grace competed in the 800-meter run at the outdoor NCAA Championships last year. Today's time was good for fourth on the all-time Yale list. Junior Stephany Reaves also turned in a great performance for the Bulldogs in the event, taking third in a time of 2:14.72. This performance, which earned the team two points, just missed qualifying Reaves for the ECAC Championships by less than thirty-one-hundredths of a second. Reaves improved by eight-one-hundredths of a second and three places from her finish at the H-Y-P meet last year. This was also an improvement over last year for the team, which had a top finish of second in a time of 2:13.74 by Ingrid Sproll '08. Her time would have placed her third this year.
Senior captain Jennifer Lin was excited about the performances in the 800-meter run.
The next best track event for the Bulldogs was the 400-meter dash, with the team taking third and fourth-place finishes. The team was led off by senior captain Jennifer Lin, who finished third in 57.58, earning the team two points. This was a new personal record for Lin, who ran 57.84, her previous personal best, at the Terrier Invitational in January. This helps cement her position in the Yale record book, moving her previous fifth-place performance to an even faster time. Junior Claudia Duncan also picked up points in the 400-meter dash for the team, placing fourth in a time of 57.93. Duncan set a new Yale record last week in the 500-meter run. Freshman Gabriella Kelly also ran well for the Bulldogs as she took sixth in a time 58.88. The event was won by Harvard's Shannon Conway in 56.84.
Lin thought that Kelly performed well in her race.
"Gabriella Kelly ran a good race," Lin said. "She was in the second heat, while the rest of the top runners were in the third heat, so she did not have as much competition. She battled it out in her heat, though."
Freshman Alexa Monti again performed well in the 60-meter dash for the Bulldogs. The event, which had both a preliminary and a final heat, saw both Monti (7.85) and freshman Marieme Mbaye qualify for the finals. Monti went even faster in the finals, running 7.83, which was good for third place and two points for the team. The event was won by Harvard's Favia Merritt in 7.73.
The H-Y-P meet also went very well for the Bulldogs in the field events, with the team earning 11 points in the field events. The Bulldogs scored in every field event except for the triple and long jumps.
In the throws, sophomore Stephanie Scaramella led the way for the Bulldogs, earning the team five points. Her best event was the weight throw, where she threw 14.56 meters, good for second place. This was a huge improvement for Scaramella as she threw 12.59 meters last year at the H-Y-P meet. This is also an improvement over last week, when she threw 12.25 meters at the Giegengack Invitational. Scaramella also took third in the shot put with a throw of 12.24 meters. As well, sophomore Rachel Kuschner set a new personal record in the weight throw with a throw of 11.26 meters. Princeton's Thanithia Billings won the shot put with a throw of 14.45 meters while Princeton's Emma Ruggiero won the weight throw with a distance of 15.03 meters.
Sophomore Emily Standish had a good day for the Bulldogs in the high jump. She cleared 1.65 meters, which was good enough for second place and three points for the team. Standish was also the top Bulldog in the triple jump, taking sixth with a jump of 10.15 meters. Sophomore Eve King also scored for the Bulldogs in the high jump, taking fourth with a clearance of 1.55 meters. Last year, Standish jumped 1.55 meters and King cleared 1.58 meters. Becky Christensen of Harvard won the high jump with a clearance of 1.91 meters, an NCAA Championships automatic qualifying height while Harvard's Elissa Reidy won the triple jump with a leap of 11.37 meters.
Junior Bailey Carroll earned the team two points in the pole vault with her vault of 3.20 meters. This is an improvement over last year, when she vaulted 3.15 meters for fifth place. The event was won Princeton's Lydia Arias with a jump of 3.35 meters.
Lin believes that despite the loss, the meet saw some strong performances and was a good experience for the team.
"This meet shows us what the competition out there is for the Heptagonal Championships," Lin said. "Both Harvard and Princeton are very strong teams. This meet feeds into our motivation to do better in two weeks at the Heptagonal Championships. We also competed on the same track as we will be for the Heptagonal Championships in two weeks, so it was good to get in some competition at the venue. Emily Standish had a great high jump and Eve King made it to finals in the event for us. Alexa Monti also ran well in the 60-meter dash."
This was the last regular season competition for the Bulldogs. The team is next in competition at the Heptagonal Championships on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 at the Gordon Track at Harvard.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity