March 8, 2008
BOSTON - In a day characterized by near misses, the Yale women's track and field team concluded competition on the first day of the ECAC championships in Boston with one relay team qualifying through the preliminary heats.
The women's 4x800-meter relay team of Kathryn Schleckser, Erika Mansson, Stephany Reaves and Meredith Leenhouts ran 9:05.75 in a dominating performance that places them as the top seed going into tomorrow's final.
Senior Ingrid Sproll finished 11th in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:13.76. While not automatically qualifying for the final, Sproll could potentially run in the final regardless due to scratches - athletes who choose to not run the final despite qualifying. This is especially common in the ECAC and IC4A championships because of the championships' proximity to the NCAA indoor track and field championships (athletes that have already qualified for nationals are less likely to "waste" energy at ECACs/IC4As and opt to prepare for that meet instead). Sproll's situation will not be decided until tomorrow.
Sophomore Claudia Duncan, the school record holder in the 500-meter dash, chose to run the 400-meter dash over the 500 in the hopes of tallying another record to her list (she already holds the 500 and 4x400-meter relay records). The 400-meter record is currently held by Yale great Pat Melton and stands at 56.38.
Unfortunately, Duncan came up short, running 56.99 for 13th place, not advancing to the final. While a disappointment, Duncan has two more seasons of indoor track remaining at Yale - her odds of breaking that record are very high.
Senior Mary Kuder finished the 500-meter dash in 1:15.43, placing 16th and not advancing. Kuder's sole indoor season at Yale (Kuder was, and is, a soccer player) was remarkably decorated. Her 500 time stands as 2nd all-time at Yale; she was also an integral part of the record breaking 4x400-meter relay team.
Senior Meredith Leenhouts finished 15th in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:55.24. While unfortunate, Leenhouts will now be able to focus all her energy on the 4x800-meter relay, which she anchors.
Aside from the 4x800 relay and (potentially) Sproll, the Bulldogs will also have a distance medley relay team participating in tomorrow's seeded final. Sophomore Stephanie Pearl will also run the 3,000-meter run.
report by Ted Galligan '10, Yale Sports Publicity