Bulldogs Best Dartmouth, Fall Narrowly to Columbia

Nihal Kayali. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Nihal Kayali. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Several First-Place Finishes Propel Yale in First Ivy Competition

NEW YORK – Yale's first scored away meet of the season saw them defeat Dartmouth handily, but finish just behind Columbia by a mere 12 points. On the day, the Bulldogs scored 65 points to Dartmouth's 38, while Columbia garnered 77 points in this annual tri-meet. Several Bulldogs placed first in their events to drive the team to its second place score, with many others qualifying for championship meets.

"The team has really turned a corner in terms of its competitive fire. There wasn't an event on the program in which our women didn't make a major impact, said head coach David Shoehalter, the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.

The Bulldogs dominated the sprints and middle distances on Saturday, winning five of the seven track events shorter than 3,000 meters. The most impressive win was by sophomore Nihal Kayali in the 1,000-meter run. Kayali finished in 2:50.00, more than three seconds ahead of her competition. This time distinguishes her as the fourth fastest Yale woman ever in the event, and the fastest since 1988. 

Senior Kate Grace had two first-place finishes to her name. Grace bested Monica Adler of Dartmouth in the 800-meter run, finishing in 2:11.88 to Adler's 2:12.52. In the mile run, Grace triumphed again in 4:54.85, this time outlasting Columbia's Emily Lanois (4:55.99).

In the 60-meter dash, the Yale trifecta of sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson (7.88), junior Alexa Monti (8.09), and junior Emily Shulan (8.22) blew away their competition to sweep the first three spots. Monti (3rd-27.30) and Shulan (2nd-26.93) also placed in the 200-meter dash, where they were joined by freshman Amanda Snajder, who placed fourth (27.75). Snajder also represented Yale in the 60-meter hurdles, where she again placed fourth (9.22).

Freshman Jenna Hessert lead the way in the 500-meter dash, placing first (1:17.25) and securing the best performance of the day by a Yale freshman. She was followed closely in that event by sophomore Annelies Gamble in second (1:18.18) and freshman Kate Chockley in fourth (1:19.55). Another fine freshman performance belonged to Sarah Barry, who narrowly trailed Grace in the 800-meter run to place third in 2:14.28.

Yale's distance runners turned in a great performance in the 3,000-meter run; for many of them, this was their first time competing since cross country season ended in November. Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin finished second (9:53.88), just edging freshman Melissa Chapman, who finished third (9:54.16).

The Bulldog 4x400-meter relay team placed second in 3:53.87, barely ahead of Dartmouth's third place effort (3:54.5). The team comprised Hessert, Chockley, junior Gabriella Kelly, and sophomore Allison Rue. The 4x800-meter relay team comprising Gamble, Grace, Kayali, and Barry placed third in 9:18.78.

In the throws, Yale was lead by senior Stephanie Scaramella, who placed in both the weight throw and the shot put. She finished second in the weight throw and third in the shot put with tosses of 15.11m and 12.08m, respectively. Senior Eve King also wore Yale blue in the shot put, where she placed fourth (8.79m).

Several Bulldog jumpers performed well in their events on Saturday. The pole vaulting pair of sophomore Jenna Poggi and freshman Emily Urciuoli finished one after the other in their event, Urciuoli in second (3.45m) and Poggi in third (3.20m). Senior high jumper Emily Standish claimed third (1.60m) in her event as the only Yale athlete competing. In the triple jump, freshman Kristen Proe placed fourth with a leap of 11.03m.

ECAC qualifiers from the meet are Barry (800-meter run), Chapman (3,000-meter run), Grace (800-meter run and mile run), Kayali (1,000-meter run), Marvin (3,000-meter run), and the 4x800-meter relay team.

Coach Shoehalter summed up his team's efforts:

"We had some tremendous performances on the day, but just came up a little thin in some events. We took advantage of a great opportunity to compete in a tremendous venue (the New York City Armory) and came out with some solid performances."

Next weekend, Yale will travel to Northeastern University to compete in the Boston Indoor Games.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity