Kate Grace Wins Third Consecutive Ivy 800-Meter Run Title

Kate Grace. (photo by Forrest Temple, Yale Athletics)

Bulldogs Wrap Up Ivy League Championship

NEW YORK – On the second and last day of competition at the Indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship, the Yale Bulldogs began their post-season with several season-best times and distances. The team's top performance from the day came from All-American senior Kate Grace, who won the 800-meter run and anchored the 4x800 meter relay to a third-place finish. Overall, the team scored 24 points to finish in eighth.

Grace held the lead in the 800-meter run from the third lap, and went on to win by over two seconds. She finished in 2:05.37 to Kim Standridge of Cornell's 2:07.77. Grace was less than a second off the meet record. The win makes Grace an Ivy champion in this event for the third year in a row, a feat that she is only the second 800-meter runner to accomplish after Morgan Uceny of Cornell from 2005-2007. Grace's effort also earns her a spot on this year's All-Ivy list.

After her exhilarating win in the individual 800-meter run, Grace anchored the 4x800 meter-relay team only two hours later. She made up a huge deficit with an incredible split of 2:03.2 to place her team third in 8:44.54, just three-tenths out of second place. The Bulldogs' time almost broke the Yale record of 8:44.20 set in 1986, instead giving them the second-fastest time, and is the fastest relay run in 25 years.

In the one mile run, sophomore Nihal Kayali placed third with a time of 4:55.07. Although the final times were slower than preliminary times, the Bulldog managed to stay with the lead pack for a strong finish. Another sophomore, Annelies Gamble, competed in the final of the 800-meter run to finish eighth overall in 2:17.30. Gamble and Kayali also joined Grace on the 4x800-meter relay team, along with freshman Sarah Barry.

Both Yale athletes competing in the 3,000-meter run finished in the top 10 with personal best times. Sophomore Elizabeth Marvin placed fifth with a time of 9:38.18 and freshman Melissa Chapman finished 10th in 9:45.91, almost five seconds faster than her seed time.

"We accomplished some of our goals," said distance coach Mark Young'68, looking ahead to next weekend's ECAC Championships. "In general, we were solid."

In the field events, senior Stephanie Scaramella threw a season-best distance in the weight throw to finish eighth overall. She qualified for the finals with a heave of 15.39 meters. Scaramella also competed in the shot put, finishing 14th with 11.72 meters.

Junior Gabriella Kelly led the sprinters this afternoon after qualifying for the finals of the 40-meter dash yesterday. Kelly placed eighth overall with a time of 57.11. She was also a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that placed seventh in 3:55.14. The team comprised sophomore Allison Rue, freshman Jenna Hessert, sophomore Jenna Poggi, and Kelly. Poggi placed 13th in the heptathlon with 3049 points. She was buoyed by fifth place finishes in both the 800-meter run (2:27.82) and the 60-meter hurdles (9.36).

In all, the Bulldogs' performances show progress over last year, where they scored 16 points. Grace won the 800-meter run in 2:07.77 at Heps in 2010, then went on to place second at the ECAC championship in 2:08.72. Her winning time of 2:05.37 at Heps this year demonstrates considerable improvement and certainly bodes well for her further competitions this winter.

Bulldogs who have qualified will travel to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Mass. next weekend to compete in the ECAC Championships.

Report by Natalie Villa '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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