Bulldogs Expect Success in 2004-2005

The Bulldogs should be a strong contender for the Heptagonal Ivy crown again this year. Featuring the best sprinting and jumping corps ever at Yale and bolstered by strong middle- and long-distance groups, this Yale team will be one of the best ever.

Sprints - Junior Joslyn Woodard has won Hep titles at 60 meters, 100 meters and 200 meters in her first two years at Yale. She also owns Yale records at all three distances, lowering the outdoor 200 mark to a sparkling 24.06 at last year's ECACs. Sophomore Katrina Castille was the 2004 Indoor Hep co champ at 60 meters. Senior Aisha Cort has been a Hep finalist and scorer at both 60 and 100 meters and she is second on the all-time Yale 100-meter list. Senior Candace Arthur has likewise been a Hep finalist at 200 meters, and with a PR of 24.88 she is also on the Yale all-time list. These four teamed to finish second at the 2004 Outdoor Heps in the 4x100-meter relay. In the longer sprints, sophomores Jessica Pall and Katie Dlesk expect to improve on their outstanding freshman campaigns. Pall's PRs (57.55 at 400 and 25.38 at 200) ranked her among the league's top 10 in 2004. Dlesk's bests are 58.1 in the 400 meter indoors and 63.78 in the 400-meter hurdles outdoors. Joining the two sophomores will be frosh standout Ali Dodson. She posted high school PRs of 56.83 in the 400 and 25.06 in the 200.

Hurdles - Senior captain Katrina Svoboda leads the hurdles. Her 61.06 PR is fourth on the Yale all-time list for the 400-meter hurdles and she has posted an 8.70 for the 55-meter hurdles as well. Junior Kate Lawson will look to have a breakout year. Her PR of 62.03 could go a long way toward making the hurdle area a Yale strength. Freshman Christa Hutchinson has run 44 for the 300-meter hurdles. She hopes to continue a long tradition of excellence for Yale in the 400-meter hurdles.

Jumps - The jumps will also continue to be a Yale strength this year. Woodard has won the long jump at both the indoor and outdoor Heps in each of her first two years at Yale. Svoboda, Castille and freshman Andrea Jacobs all have jumped over 18 feet in the past. Look for the long jump to continue as a solid event at Yale. Junior Dionna Thomas will once again lead the Bulldogs in the triple jump. With a PR of 40'.5" feet, Thomas has consistently been among the top three triple jumpers at Heps. Freshman Andrea Jacobs has a PR of 38' and should provide depth for the Bulldogs here. The pole vault will also continue to be a Yale strength. Junior Molly Lederman cleared 13 feet last year, and she also won the indoor Heps and tied for second outdoors. Sophomore Ashley Nolet had nagging injuries, but posted a best of 12'3.5" and scored in both the indoor and outdoor Heps. The loss of outdoor Heps champion and captain Lisa Wygant to graduation leaves Yale with no proven high jumper. Several candidates will try to fill that void.

Middle Distance and Distance - Long the strength of Yale's track and field teams, this year's middle distance and distance squad should prove no different. Rebecca Dickens, the Heps 800-meter runner up, is gone to graduation, but senior Vanessa Mazandi's 2:09.49 outdoors and 2:10.69 indoors put her in the top three all-time at Yale. Senior Vanessa Everding has a lifetime best of 2:15.77 and she has been a consistent performer on Yale's terrific 4x800-meter relay teams over the past three years. Junior Katie Greene ran 2:12.90 indoors last year and junior Rachel Harrington has a 2:13.93 PR outdoor. Freshman Meredith Leenhouts was the 2003 Massachusetts 800 champion with a PR of 2:13 and freshman Ingrid Sproll has a best of 2:16.06. The 800 should be a deep group for the Blue. At the mile and 1500, Yale is similarly blessed. Sophomore Ashley Campbell ran a thrilling 4:29.54 for second at outdoor Heps last year, as she missed winning by a mere hundredth of a second. Junior Melissa Donais, the 2002 Millrose high school mile winner, looks to rebound from an injury-plagued 2003 in which she still ran a 4:57 mile and 9:55 3,000. Add to them freshman Lindsay Donaldson, whose 4:46 at outdoor Nationals makes her the fastest incoming frosh ever at Yale, and Yale should be very strong here as well. In the longer distances, Yale is led by senior cross country captain Anne Martin, who finished second at Heps in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Martin's 10:29.40 was third at ECACs and established a new Yale record for the event while qualifying for NCAA Regionals. Sophomore Claire Hamilton was also an NCAA Regional qualifier in the steeplechase. Sophomore Cara Kiernan was yet another Heps runner-up in the 5,000-meter run. Kiernan's 16:17.03 was the fastest ever by a Hep freshman and it qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Kiernan also ran 9:36.30 for fifth place in the outdoor ECAC 3,000. Sophomores Katie McKinstry (10:00.65) and Jackie Myers (10:05.03) also had solid first years and will provide depth in that event. Junior Emily Vince (17:31.08) will solidify the 5,000-meter corps and McKinstry's 36:58.49 will be Yale's primary threat in the 10K.

Throws - Yale's throwing corps is excited about the prospect of working with 2004 Olympic hammer thrower Anna Mahon. Junior Margo Angelopoulos has borne the brunt of the throwing duties in the 20-pound weight, hammer, discus and shot put over the past two years. A Hep finalist in the shot in 2002, Angelopoulos should really benefit from Coach Mahon's expertise. Sophomores Sarah Mendillo (javelin) and Erica Davis (discus) each placed fourth at Heps. Davis primarily stars for the Eli basketball team, but her throwing ability will be much relied upon during the outdoor season in the shot put and discus.

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