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4x800-Meter Relay Team Competes on Last Day of Penn Relays

Claudia Duncan.
Claudia Duncan.

April 25, 2009


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Though most of their teammates had returned to New Haven on Thursday, four Bulldogs stayed in Philadelphia, Pa. to compete Saturday afternoon in the 4x800 meter Championship of America relay. It was a warm day to close out the 115th Penn Relays, and the most highly attended of any day of competition: more than 45,000 spectators were expected to attend. The Bulldogs made the most out of their chance to get comfortable with the track where the Hepatagonal Championships will be held in two weeks.

Junior Stephany Reaves lead off for the Bulldogs, ending her leg in seventh place in a time of 2:14.32. Sophomore Kate Grace - who has qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 800-meter run, with a personal best of 2:04.72 - picked up the baton and managed to close the gap, running her turn in 2:12.79 neck-and-neck with Lehigh for sixth. She passed the baton to junior Claudia Duncan, who ran an even faster 2:11.86, placing Yale in fourth at the end of her leg. Junior Erin Walsh anchored the Bulldogs' team, and finished the race in 2:17.45 for sixth place.

Yale finished two seconds behind Ivy League rival Columbia and a good 10 seconds ahead of Princeton.

This was a very exciting 4x800-meter race for the Bulldogs to run in. The winning team not only crossed the finish line first, but also set new American, Collegiate and Penn Relays records. Tennessee won the race in 8:17.91, breaking the old record of 8:18.78 set by Michigan in 2007, thanks in great part to runners Sarah Bowman and Phoebe Wright who finished in 2:03.70 and 2:02.62, respectively.

The Bulldogs headed back to New Haven Saturday evening for the annual Yale Springtime Invitational on Sunday. Bulldogs who did not compete at Penn Relays will have fresh legs before the home crowd at the Cuyler-Dwyer complex, while many of those who traveled to Philadelphia will take the day off.

This will be the last home meet for seniors on the team. The meet is also the last competition before Heptagonal Championships (back at Penn on Franklin Field) May 9 and 10.

Field events will start at 10 a.m. and running events at 12 p.m. There are no set times for the following events; the meet will run on an open schedule where each event will start as soon as the last one has cleared the track. The schedule of events can be found here.

Buses will be available to transport spectators between Payne Whitney Gym and the track complex every 15 minutes, starting at 8:00 a.m. Results will be posted on at the end of the day.

Kyle Eichner '12, Yale Sports Publicity