March 11, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Two Bulldog women's track and field athletes have earned All-East honors for their strong performances at the ECAC Championships that took place on Mar. 7-8 at Reggie Lewis Track in Boston. Junior Claudia Duncan (Harlingen, Texas/Harlingen) earned All-East honors for the second time in the 500-meter dash while sophomore Kate Grace (Santa Monica, Calif./Marlborough) picked up the honor for the first time in the 800-meter run. The top eight athletes in every event at the ECAC Championships picked up All-East honors.
Grace, who is headed to the NCAA Championships in the 800-meter run, smashed her own school record in the event this weekend while earning All-East honors. On Mar. 1, Grace won the Ivy League Championship in the event while setting a school record in a time of 2:07.83. In the preliminary round of the ECAC Championships, on Mar. 7, Grace broke her school record again with a time of 2:06.41, a time that was good enough for the second-best performance in the preliminary round. Grace came back the next day and took second in the finals of the event in a time of 2:09.09. The second-place finish earned her All-East honors to go along with the All-Ivy honors she earned from her performances at the Ivy League Championships. As well, her preliminary time of 2:06.41, an NCAA provisional qualifying time, was fast enough to qualify her for the NCAA Championships with the 17th and final spot in the championships.
Joining Grace on the All-East team was Duncan, who ran two fantastic races at the ECAC Championships to earn the honor in the 500-meter dash. Duncan had a very successful season in the event this year. She started off by setting a school record in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:13.92 at the Giegengack Invitational on Feb. 6-7. Then, at the ECAC Championships, Duncan showed that she was ready to go even faster. In her preliminary heat, Duncan was the fastest athlete, setting a school record with a time of 1:13.44. Duncan again broke the school record in the finals with a time of 1:13.31. This time earned her fourth place in the finals and a place on the All-East team. Duncan was sixth in the event at the ECAC Championships in 2007, earning her All-East honors.
Grace will begin competition at the NCAA Championships on Friday. The rest of the team will begin their spring break training trip in California this week before opening the outdoor season at the UC-Irvine Invitational on Mar. 21.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity