Bulldogs Head to Beantown

Nihal Kiyali. (photo by dspics.com)

Team Looks to Keep Improving After Impressive Performances Last Week

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This Friday, the Yale Bulldogs will suit up for the Boston Indoor Games, hosted by Northeastern University. After several strong performances lifted the Bulldogs to second place between Columbia and Dartmouth last weekend, the team will look to kindle its competitive spirit among non-Ivy opposition. Brown will be the only other member of the Ancient Eight present.

A performance to watch for will be from sophomore Nihal Kayali, who posted 2:50.00 in the 1,000-meter run last weekend, making her the fastest Bulldog time in the event for the last twenty-three years. This time qualified her for the ECAC Championships in March. Kayali will be competing in the mile run for the first time as a college athlete at the Boston Indoor Games.

All-American senior Kate Grace will also certainly be an athlete to watch. The two-time Hepstrack.com Female Athlete of the Week this season will only be competing in the 800-meter run, allowing her to have a strong race.

This meet will help the Bulldogs see where they stand against competitive teams. Looking ahead, Mark Young '68, coach of the distance and middle distance athletes, said that some athletes would be preparing for the Harvard-Princeton tri-meet on Feb. 12 and Heptagonal Championships (Heps) on Feb. 26.

"We will be moving people around and away, in some cases, from their strongest events in an effort to use the meet as a training opportunity against some good competition," said Young.

As the season progresses and Ivy schools loom on the horizon, the Bulldogs have only gotten stronger. Senior Stephanie Scaramella, of the throwing contingent, began her track season throwing 11.78m in the shot put on Dec. 4. She eclipsed this distance last weekend with a throw of 12.08m, good for third place. Senior Emily Standish has also gained height in the high jump, improving from 1.55m to 1.60m this weekend. In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Allison Rue ran 1:00.19 on Dec. 4 but posted a time of 58.81 this past weekend.

Freshmen especially have shown improvement as they adapt to collegiate contests. Rookie Teresa Parent has improved from 4.96m to 5.02m in the long jump. Emily Urciuoli, a pole vault stand-out, increased her range from 3.40m to 3.45m this weekend. In the 60-meter hurdles, Amanda Snajder dropped from 9.54 seconds to 9.22 seconds. Snajder has also dropped time from her 200-meter dash, completing the race in 28.03 seconds last month but finishing in 27.75 seconds most recently. Finally, in the 500-meter dash, Jenna Hessert has gone from 1:18.20 seconds to 1:17.25 seconds.

"The focus of this week's meet is on individual performance. The Boston Indoor Games will give our athletes the opportunity to improve seed times and distances leading up to the Heps and other post-season competitions," said head coach David Shoehalter, the Mark T. Young  '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.

The meet takes place at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, where ECAC Championships will be held in March.  Field events will begin at 4 p.m. while track events commence at 5 p.m. Results will be available at www.directathletics.com and www.gonu.com, as well as www.yalebulldogs.com.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity