Talented Long-Distance Athlete Looks to Team's Future
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This past Monday, after concluding the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on their home track, the Bulldogs gathered together to elect Kira Garry as the 2014-2015 track and field captain. Garry is a junior from Montauk, N.Y., and is currently a Berkeley College resident majoring in Environmental Studies.
The job offered to Garry is a tall one, as an influx of freshman will be joining the Bulldogs for the upcoming season.
"The team will be much bigger next year with an unprecedented group of 15 freshman," Garry explained in her acceptance speech. Likely verbalizing the sentiments of many of her teammates, she continued on to celebrate the team's future, saying, "I think this could transform our program in adding a lot of depth. I cannot wait to see what we can do next year."
As one of the most proven members of the women's track and field team, Garry is sure to shine as its leader next year. She is the second in her family to represent Yale on the track, as her mother (Louisa Gerritz Garry '87) before her was a standout on the team from 1983-1987. As a freshman, Garry quickly lived up to expectations, as she became an asset in multiple long distance events including the 3,000-meter steeplechase. At the New Balance Boston Twilight meet during her freshman year, she broke the Yale record in the event. Her performance at that meet also qualified her to compete in the U.S. Junior National Championships, where she placed fifth. Moreover, Garry has competed at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round twice so far—one of two to do so this past year. She can always be counted on to earn points for her team, and has placed in both the 3,000-meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Indoor and Outdoor ECAC Championships, respectively.
During the indoor season where the steeplechase is not offered, Garry focuses on improving her talents as a long distance runner. This is a skill she hones year-round, as she is also one of the most valuable runners on the Yale cross country team. This past indoor season alone, Garry set personal bests in the 1,000-meter, 1,500-meter, mile, and 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs. She currently holds the sixth-best time in Yale history in the 3,000-meter run, and has been a valuable contributor on Yale's distance medley relay squad. Recently, Garry anchored this squad at the Penn Relays—one of the most competitive meets the team attends—to help it place third overall.
This outdoor season, Garry broke her own record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase when she traveled with a few select Bulldogs to participate in the competitive Stanford Invitational in California. Her current personal best of 10:21.01 is more than six seconds faster than Anne Lovelace's time from 2010.
Still, Garry is not only one of the team's most prolific athletes, but has also shown herself eager and ready to step up to her position next year. At the team's brunch on Monday where she was elected, Garry expressed her commitment to her fellow teammates, declaring, "I feel so honored to represent this special group of women next year."
Garry then went on to echo the outlook of Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field David Shoehalter.
"I was thinking about how many times Coach Shoehalter said the word 'believe' in his speech to the team before the Ivy Championships, and I think this group shows how much we have to believe in." She continued, "I believe in our strength, our bonds as teammates, and our dedication and love for the sport."
Garry will return to compete at the Outdoor ECAC Championships this coming weekend, as she has again qualified to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity