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Hurdler Mackenzie Mathews Shines at HYP Tri-Meet

Mackenzie Mathews. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mackenzie Mathews. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Excel in 3,000-Meter Run

NEW HAVEN, Conn-This Saturday, the Yale women's track and field team braved a blizzard to travel to Princeton, N.J. for its annual meet with fellow Ivies Princeton and Harvard. Though the Bulldogs finished in third, the meet was one to remember for a few exceptional runners, including freshman Mackenzie Mathews. In the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, Mathews placed first with a time of 8.94, marking a new personal best. When asked about how she prepared for her impressive race, Mathews said, "Personally, I focused on my pre-meet mindset today by listening to (a) meditation podcast before I raced. Managing nerves is a major part of competing and combined with a hard season of training, it paid off for me well today."

Also competing in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles was senior Dakota McCoy (9.09), and junior Amanda Snajder (9.26). Sophomore Elle Brunsdale finished the preliminary race in 10.12, marking a new season best.

In the day's field events, many competitors met with success, including freshman Karleh Wilson, who has already broken the school record in the shot put this season. In the weight throw, Wilson's mark of 14.55m (47'8.83") earned her a new personal best and the seventh spot on Yale's top-ten list of all-time bests. She came in fourth place, earning points for the team. Two other Bulldogs, senior Antonia Renker and freshman Taylor Eldridge have already claimed their spots on the top ten list this season. At this weekend's meet, Renker gave a throw of 14.18m (46'6.27") and Eldridge made a mark of 12.29m (40'3.86"). Wilson also competed in the shot put, placing second with a distance of 13.35m (43'9.59"). In the same event, Eldridge met with similar success with a new personal best mark of 12.27m (40'3.07"). With her score, she will join Wilson on Yale's top ten list in the sixth position.

Junior Teresa Parent nabbed season best marks in both the long and triple jumps. In the long jump, she earned points for her team by finishing in second place with a leap of 5.23m (17'02"). Sophomore Elle Brunsdale was fifth with a mark of 5.16m (16'11.25"), a new season best. Snajder also competed, jumping 4.98m (16'04.25").  In the triple jump, Parent was fifth with her second season best time of the day, 10.93m (35'10.50"). In fourth was junior Kristen Proe (10.94m or 35'10.75), while sophomore Alisha Jordan led the team with her second place finish and a mark of 11.57m (37'11.50").

Yale's two competitors in the pole vault, sophomore Emily Urciuoli and freshman Renee Vogel, finished side by side, both coming up with marks of 3.40m (11'01.75). This distance is a new personal best for Vogel. A pair from Yale also matched one another in the high jump, with both freshman Megan Toon and Amanda Snajder bounding a distance of 1.51m (4'11.50").

Several personal best times were claimed in the running events as well. Freshman Sydney Cureton's new personal best time of 7.87 earned her fifth place in the finals of the 60-meter dash. Her teammate, junior Kelsey Lin, also ran a personal best, finishing in 8.01.

Two team members competed in the 1-mile run, seniors Nihal Kayali (5:00.28), and Caitlin Hudson (5:05.51). Of Yale's five participants in the 400-meter dash, two scored points for the team. Sophomore Emily Cable, just off a record-breaking performance in the same event last week, placed second with her time of 57.15. Senior captain Allison Rue likewise scored in the event, placing forth and running a time of 59.21. Senior Jenna Poggi (59.69), junior Jenna Hessert (1:02.23), and freshman Grace Brittan (1:02.50) also competed. Only one Bulldog participated in the 800-meter run, freshman Shannon McDonnell. She placed fifth with a time of 2:16.22. In their second events of the day, Emily Cable and Sydney Cureton finished the 200-meter dash in 25.86, and 26.56, respectively.

The team hit a high mark at the meet during the 3,000-meter run, in which six of Yale's seven participants gained new personal bests. In fourth place was freshman Emily Stark with a time of 9.50.24. She was narrowly trailed by her teammate and fellow freshman Elizabeth McDonald, who finished in 9.56.20. Finally, claiming her best time of two years, sophomore Anna Demaree finished the race in an impressive 9.57.35. All three of these Bulldogs also qualify to compete in the ECAC Championships coming up this month. Though senior Jennifer Donnelly (10.12.71) and freshman Isabel Amend (10.26.16), missed this mark, both ran the best races of their careers in the event. Senior Tori Flannery also competed, finishing in 10.30.98, just ahead of sophomore Hannah Alpert, who claimed her best time to date of 10:37.92.

Yale's 4x400-meter team, including Rue, McDonnell, Lin, and Cable finished in third with a time of 3:56.07. In the 4x800-meter event, Kayali, Hudson, Poggi, and freshman Anna-Sophie Harling secured the second place position, finishing in 9:40.34. 

After enduring a tough rivalry this weekend, the Bulldogs will take a week off before heading to the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships later this month. Though exhausted from today's meet, the team has trained hard for the championship season. As Mackenzie Mathews said of the near future, "We faced some tough competition today and we are excited and geared up for Heps."

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity