Yale Distance Runners Hope to Continue Their Winning Ways
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The women's track and field team will travel to the Armory in New York City this weekend to toe the line with the rest of the Ancient Eight for Heptagonal Championships. Heps represents the culmination of the season for athletes who do not move on to ECAC Championships next weekend.
Coming off several strong performances in the middle distance and distance events at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet two weeks ago, the Bulldogs will look to improve upon their seventh-place result at last year's Ivy Championships.
Senior Kate Grace led the Bulldogs at Heps last year with a first-place finish in the 800-meter run. She won in exciting fashion, less than a second in front of the next two finishers. Grace also won that event the previous year. This season, she holds the fastest league time in the 800-meter run after her record-breaking performance (2:06.94) at the Giegengack Invitational on Feb. 4. The Ivy League Championships meet record is 2:04.58, set by Morgan Uceny of Cornell in 2007.
Grace is also the fastest Ivy athlete in the one mile run in 4:39.52, a time that makes her the fastest Yale miler all-time, followed by sophomore Nihal Kayali (4:45.04).
Several other Bulldogs are on the season-best list in the 800-meter run. Sophomore Annelies Gamble is 11th on the season (2:11.85), Kayali is 12th (2:11.86) and freshman Sarah Barry is 15th (2:13.17).
Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin registered the seventh-fastest league time in the 3,000-meter run this season in 9:40.50. This position would just barely place her out of scoring range this weekend, since the top six finishers score points for the team (10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 points, respectively). Freshman Melissa Chapman is also ranked in the 3,000-meter run (18th- 9:50.67).
Finally, the 4x800 meter relay team has so far this season traversed their two miles considerably faster than any other Ivy. Yale is ranked first in the league with a time of 8:49.68. Their nearest competitor, Princeton, is more than two seconds off the pace.
Despite past success, however, the team is only looking ahead, according to distance coach Mark Young '68.
"There can be no taking anything for granted. Past times are just that: past," he said.
Yale throwers will look to senior Stephanie Scaramella for leadership this weekend; she holds top-20 distances in both indoor throwing events. In the shot put, she is 14th in the league with a season-best throw of 12.39 meters. In the weight throw, Scaramella is 12th, with a throw of 15.18 meters. She is joined by sophomore Antonia Renker in the weight throw, ranked 19th with a throw of 12.79 meters.
In the sprints, sophomore Adele Jackson-Gibson will look to improve upon her 12th-place finish at last year's Heps (7.87). She is currently ranked 10th in the Ivy League in 7.81 seconds. Junior Gabriella Kelly has the 17th-fastest league time in the 400-meter run (58.00). Also, freshman Amanda Snajder has run the 16th-best time in the 60-meter hurdles for the Ivy League this season.
Bulldog jumpers to look for include sophomore Jenna Poggi (pole vault- 18th Ivy), freshman Kristen Proe (triple jump- 17th Ivy), senior Emily Standish (high jump-14th Ivy) and freshman Emily Urciuoli (pole vault- 17th Ivy).
The team is ready, said head coach David Shoehalter, the Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.
"This is our biggest team meet of the season. We're looking forward to great performances from the entire team and are as physically and mentally prepared as we are going to be."
The meet will begin on Saturday at 10:00 a.m and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. For the most part, Saturday will be filled with preliminary heats while Sunday is comprised of final events. The official meet website, including a meet schedule, can be found here. A full list of season-best Ivy League performances is available here. Results will be available at lancertiming.com as well as yalebulldogs.com.
Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity