April 26, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - As the last home meet of the year, the Yale Springtime Invitational could almost have been the summertime invitational. The Bulldogs were greeted with a sunny, 80-degrees day to host a large crowd of competitors at the Cuyler-Dwyer complex. Many nearby schools such as New Haven, Southern Connecticut, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart came to compete in the many heats for each event during the long day.
It was the last meet at Yale for the seniors, many of whom ran distances they do not normally compete in, and the last meet of the season for the runners who are not competing at the Heptagonal Championships in two weeks.
It was a good day for freshmen sprinters: Freshmen Marieme Mbaye and Alexa Monti placed third and fourth, respectively, in the 100-meter dash, in times of 12.22 and 12.32. Freshman Gabriella Kelly had a good second-place finish in the 400-meter dash, in 57.45, and sophomore Jennifer Parker came in fifth in 58.29.
In the 1,500-meter run sophomore Celia Stockwell came in third in 4:48.57.
The 4x100-meter relay team finished fourth in 47.98 seconds, even better than its 49.08 at Penn on Thursday.
The seniors who were competing for the last time at Yale made it a strong - and in some cases, unusual - finish. Senior captain Jennifer Lin won the 400-meter hurdles by a long shot for her last time on Yale's track, clocking in at 1:03.61. Senior Bevin Peters ended up in fifth place in 2:18.09 in the 800-meter run, an event she has not run for more than two years.
Yale's 4x400-meter relay team was unconventional today: the athletes who competed at Penn Relays in the past few days were resting, so Yale's usual sprinters and middle distance runners who handle the were not competing. Instead, the team was composed of four senior distance runners: Kathryn Schlechser, 3,000-meter steeplechase competitor Peters, cross country captain Kelli Buck, and 10,000-meter runner Claire Leatherwood. The team still came in third place, in 4:13.34 - slower than Yale's usual, but very impressive for four athletes who usually run at least four times as far.
For the Bulldogs, Sunday was either the last home meet of a four-year career, the last meet of the season or the last meet before running against the other Ivy League schools at the Heptagonal Championships hosted by Penn on May 9 and 10. After Heps, those few who have qualified will continue to ECAC Championships and NCAA Regional Championships.
Report by Kyle Eichner '12, Yale Sports Publicity