May 13, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - At the annual track and field banquet Tuesday night, athletes and coaches gathered to look back on the season. Though some athletes still have several races ahead of them, most of the team is done competing now after the Heptagonals Championship this past weekend. Those honored at the banquet included three Bulldogs who have made outstanding contributions to the team: senior Kelli Buck, junior Claudia Duncan and sophomore Kate Grace. The highlight of the evening was the election of next year's captain, junior Faith Briggs.
Briggs has been a consistent contributor to the sprinters. As a freshman she made the All-Time list for the indoor 400-meter dash with a time of 57.80 seconds. That same year she was part of the 4x400-meter relay team that set a school record of 3:48.92 (the record was broken last year by just .2 seconds). Briggs has been a strong component of 4x400-meter relay teams throughout her years at Yale.
Buck was awarded the Stroube Family award, which is awarded to the athlete that excels in sportsmanship, courage and inspiration. Buck was the captain of the women's cross country team in 2008, and led them in all of their championship meets. During the track season, Buck is on the indoor All-Time list twice for her participation in 4x800-meter relays this season, which finished in 8:55.55 (garnering a win at indoor Heptagonals) and 9:01.89, as well as running the 1600-meter stretch of the distance medley relay team that finished in 11:41.63.
Duncan won the Lee Calhoun award, which is awarded to the athlete that excels in sprinting and/or hurdling. The award given annually in memory of Lee Calhoun, who coached at Yale from 1975 until 1980, and was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, as well as a world-record holder in the 110-meter hurdles. Duncan currently holds the school record in the 400-meter dash, 55.49 seconds, which she ran last weekend at Heptagonal Championships. She also holds the school record for the 500-meter run indoors, 1:13.31, which she ran at ECAC Championships in March.
Grace was awarded the James Stack '61 award, which is awarded to the athlete that best personifies Jim Stack, the captain of the 1961 Yale men's track and field team that won the "big three" meet (Yale vs. Harvard and Princeton), the Heptagonal championship and IC4A championship. Grace has certainly been the biggest point-contributor to the team this season. The junior was first-team All-Ivy both indoors and outdoors for her performances in the 800-meter run, and earned All-American honors by placing eighth in the event at NCAA championships in March. She is on Yale's All-Time lists four times for individual performances of various distances, and seven times for her participation in relays of different lengths.
Grace, Duncan and others will next compete at the ECAC Championships this weekend, May 15-17, at Princeton.
Report by Kyle Eichner '12, Yale Sports Publicity