Bulldogs to Compete at Penn Relays

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Emily Urciuoli. (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Garry, Wilson Among Admitted Competitors 

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This weekend, a small number of the Yale women's track and field team will travel to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays—the nation's oldest and largest track and field meet. The Penn Relays attract competitors from all over the nation, boasting of steep entry standards that allow for only the most elite runners. All eight Ivy League Schools will send their best runners to compete in the meet, beginning this Thursday to Saturday. A complete schedule and live results are available here. 

While the entry lists for the meet's many relay events are not yet available, Yale will likely bring a 4x400-meter relay squad to the competition. Sophomore Shannon McDonnell and junior Emily Cable are known to lead Yale's relay races, and are both likely to make the trip this weekend. Otherwise, five individuals are set to compete at the meet.

Both sophomores Taylor Eldridge and Karleh Wilson of the throws squad will be making the journey this weekend. Eldridge will compete against 31 contenders in Thursday's hammer throw. At Princeton's annual Sam Howell Invitational in early April, Eldridge threw the best hammer mark of her collegiate career. She has since improved on that performance, and currently holds the eighth-best hammer mark in Yale history. Eldridge expressed excitement at the opportunity to compete at the Penn Relays as both an individual and Yale representative, saying, "...It will no doubt be an opportunity to compete against fantastic athletes, and I'm looking forward to seeing our team rise to the occasion."

Wilson has been scoring top marks in the shot put for more than a year. She first broke the school record in the event her freshman year, and has since continued to improve on her personal best mark and thus raise the standard for future competitors. In fact, at last week's Yale Mark Young Invitational, Wilson again set a new shot put school record—this time with a mark of 14.59m. Just two weeks before, she proved her talent extended beyond a single event by snagging the second-best discus mark ever seen at the school. Wilson will be competing in both events at the Penn Relays. The shot put will take place on Thursday, while the discus will be held on Friday.

Joining this duo in the field events is senior Emily Urciuoli. In her four years at Yale, Urciuoli has consistently been one of the team's top scorers, including competing at the ECAC Championships multiple times. She holds the third spot on Yale's top-10 lists. Urciuoli finished second at Yale's Mark Young Invitational last week in one of the day's best performances. She faces off against 44 competitors this coming Thursday.

Finally, two Yale long-distance runners are entered to compete in championship-level races this weekend. Junior Kira Garry, who has focused on the 3,000-meter steeplechase this outdoor season, will instead be taking her place in the 3,000-meter run. In the event this past indoor season, Garry earned a personal best and the sixth-spot on Yale's top-10 lists at Boston University's Terrier Invitational. She will put her skill to work alongside 43 other tough competitors on Thursday night.

Junior Emily Stark will also compete on Thursday evening. She is entered in the 5,000-meter run with a slightly larger field of 50 competitors. While she has not yet competed in the distance this outdoor season, Stark came within 10 seconds of her personal best—earned her sophomore year at the Raleigh Relays in N.C.—during the indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships.

The remainder of the team will again return to Yale's Cuyler Athletic Complex and Dwyer Track for their second home meet of the season, the Yale Springtime Invitational on Sunday. The practice on their home track is valuable, as it will be the site of this year's outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. 

Athletes to watch include sophomore hurdler Mackenzie Mathews, who just last week broke her own school record in the 100-meter hurdles, as well as senior captain Amanda Snajder, likely to compete in three or more events.

Two distance runners, senior Sarah Barry and sophomore Elizabeth McDonald, have both excelled in the 1,500-meter run in recent competitions. Last week, the two led a pack of their teammates in the event, both finishing in the top six.

Field events will begin at 10:00am, and a complete schedule can be found here. Results will be posted on yalebulldogs.com when available.

Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity