Bulldogs Accomplish Goals at Opener

Claudia Duncan.
Claudia Duncan.

Dec. 10, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, CONN. - The Yale Women's Indoor Track and Field Team competed Saturday at the Yale Season Opener, the first meet of the season. Despite the fact expectations were low due to heavy training loads coming into this meet, the Bulldogs competed hard, obtaining four event victories and eight top-three performances.

Sophomore sprinter Claudia Duncan led the way for the Bulldogs, winning the 500-meter dash (1:15.42) and anchoring the 4x400-meter relay to victory in 3:59.52, both with strong come-from-behind kicks that left the opposition no less than two seconds behind either time.

Senior jumper Olakitan Awolesi performed well, winning the long jump (5.39m) and placing second in the 200-meter dash (26.52). Senior Mary Kuder tallied the Bulldogs another win for the Bulldogs by winning the 400-meter dash in 59.33.

Freshman Stephanie Scaramella placed second and third in the shot put and weight throw with 11.72 and 10.92 meter throws respectively. Freshman Jennifer Parker was another double-placer for Yale, finishing third in the 200 (26.87) and 400 (1:00.66). Sophomore Faith Briggs was second in the 400-meter dash (1:00.01) and sophomore Bailey Carroll was third in the pole vault (3.05m).

While some athletes were discouraged by their performances, the coaching staff provided some encouragement.

"Many of the athletes that beat us today won't get any faster," Assistant Coach Marc Davis said. "We will be ready to run fast when it counts; it's very early in the season."

The Bulldogs will be back in action at the Yale Invitational on January 12th, roughly a month away. Associate Head Coach David Shoehalter expressed some of his concerns going into a period dominated by the holidays and final exams.

"This is a tough time for coaches -- between the holidays and exams we don't see our athletes as much as we would like," Shoehalter said. "They have to stay disciplined now, because while the Opener was a great start to the season, their performances can go up or down from here. We have to maintain focus."

The Yale Invitational will be held at Coxe Cage.

report by Ted Galligan '10, Yale Sports Publicity