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Four Individuals Place First, Wilson Breaks Record in Yale Season Opener

Karleh Wilson. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Karleh Wilson. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Wilson Surpasses Her Own Shot Put Record

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Bulldogs opened the 2013-14 indoor track season on Saturday with the 2013 Yale Season Opener, held in Coxe Cage. The meet provided an opportunity for the team's members to evaluate their strengths going into the season. Many members took on more than their usual events, while newcomers had the chance to compete in unfamiliar events. The day resulted in many successful efforts, included six first-place finishes by four Bulldogs and a school record in the shot put by sophomore Karleh Wilson. Moreover, the meet was marked by several events in which competitors finished nearby one another—a promising sign for the team's collective force entering the indoor season. 

The day's field events began with the shot put. Wilson made a name for herself as she dominated the event last year, breaking the school record early in the season. True to her skill on Saturday, Wilson's mark of 13.81m (45-03.75) was a meter more than her closest competitor, freshman Kate Simon. Simon put forth a solid effort in her first collegiate meet to place second, reaching a distance of 12.62m (41-05.00). Simon's performance just narrowly misses her high school personal best, boding well for her continued improvement. Sophomore Taylor Eldridge also competed in the event, placing 12th at 9.83m (32-03.00), followed by senior captain Amanda Snajder in her first of four events of the day (13th—9.73m or 31-11.25). Junior Elle Brunsdale also competed to earn a personal best of 9.53m (15th—31-03.25).

The majority of Yale's throwers likewise competed in the weight throw. Wilson again took first without close competition, making her mark at 16.17m (53-00.75). Eldridge took fifth with a lob of 14.18m (46-06.35), followed by Simon in sixth (13.52m or 44-04.25).

The junior known for her stellar performances in the long jump, Alisha Jordan, lived up to her reputation on Saturday, leaping 5.53m (18-01.75) to win the event. Snajder's jump of 5.28m (17-04.00) nabbed her fourth place. Freshman Rachel Wofford opened her first collegiate season with a mark of 4.86m (12th—15-111.50), while senior Teresa Parent claimed a mark of 4.84m (15-19.50) in 13th place.

Jordan likewise dominated the triple jump, earning the top spot with a distance of 11.86m (38-11.00). Parent took tenth at 10.35m (33-11.50), while Wofford leapt 9.97m (32-08.50) to place 13th. Senior Kristen Proe also competed (15th—9.77m or 32-00.75).

Three Bulldogs looked to clear higher marks in Saturday's pole vault. All three competitors—senior Emily Urciuoli (2nd), junior Catherine Shih (5th) and sophomore Renee Vogel (6th) met a height of 3.30m (10-10.00). In this case, place is determined by the number of attempts the competitor took. The meet was particularly notable for Shih—who has not been able to pole vault since her freshman year, and is now ready to reenter the competition this season.

Saturday's final field event was the high jump. Sophomore Megan Toon placed third, reaching a height of 1.60m (5-03.00), followed by Snajder, who earned seventh place in her third event in three hours (1.50m or 4-11.00). Freshman Lillian Foote tied for seventh place with her captain, meeting the same mark.

Four Yale runners—fresh off the end of the cross country season—kicked off the afternoon's running events by taking the top four spots in the 1,600-meter. Senior Sarah Barry won the event—an impressive feat considering she has not competed in the distance for over a year. She finished in 5:02.68, just seconds ahead of freshman Emily Waligurski (2nd—5:02.73). Sophomore Shannon McDonnell finished in third at 5:11.32, while freshman Rachel Jones was fourth with a time of 5:13.75. 

Taking third in the 400-meter dash was junior Emily Cable, who currently holds the Yale record in the event. She ran a time of 59.04. Proe—an athlete who regularly competes in both field and running events—finished the race in 1:03.59. 

Sophomore Mackenzie Mathews defended her status as the team's best hurdler, taking second in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles in 9.19. Snajder took sixth in her final event of the day (9.46), while Brunsdale finished not far behind in seventh (9.79). Mathews further competed in the 60-meter dash (8.17).

In the 1,000-meter run, a middle-distance event, Delaney FitzPatrick became the only freshman to win an event at the meet. She finished in 3:01.25. FitzPatrick was narrowly trailed by two teammates, sophomore Anna-Sophie Harling in second (3:05.28) and junior Alyssa LaGuardia in third (3:12.73). 

Yale's two representatives in the 500-meter run, sophomore Grace Brittan and senior Jenna Hessert, took third and fourth. Brittan finished the race in 1:21.35, while Hessert crossed the line in 1:23.05. As Yale's sole contender in the 200-meter dash, Cable took 11th in 26.23. Also competing without fellow Bulldogs, freshman Jennie Callan secured eighth place (11:21.51) in the 3,000-meter, the longest event raced on Saturday.

In a significant performance from the team's middle-distance runners, Yale squads took both first and second in the 4x800-meter relay, posting times of 9:17.62 and 9:51.11, respectively. 

The Bulldogs will return to competition after the winter holidays, when they host the Yale Invitational on Jan. 11.

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity