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Bulldogs Win Five Events, Posting Many Personal Bests in Yale Season Opener

Emily Barnes (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Emily Barnes (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – This past Saturday afternoon in Coxe Cage, the women's track and field team competed in their first meet of the season: the Yale Season Opener. An unscored meet, it serves as an opportunity for the women to gauge their progress before the start of the winter break. Though the entire team did not compete, those who did performed very well against athletes from local colleges like Queens, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, Ramapo, University of New Haven, Siena, Southern Connecticut State and Sacred Heart.

In the 60-meter dash, Katerra Logan and senior captain Sydney Cureton both made it to the finals. Cureton came in second place with a time of 7.69s, only a tenth of a second off from her best time. Logan also performed well, placing sixth. Her time of 7.86s in the prelims was also incredibly close to her personal best. Freshmen Aja Thorpe and Ivanna Soto-Medrano also ran in the preliminary round of the event, placing 12th and 24th, respectively, on their debuts.

In the 500-meter dash, freshmen Bridget Tobias and Lindsey Combs both had very solid debuts coming in second and fifth place overall, respectively. However, their place in the race does not speak to both of their impressive times of 1:17.69 and 1:20.36, respectively. To put it into perspective, Shannon McDonnell's personal best in this event is 1:14.58. These freshmen will surely be great additions to both the sprints and hurdling teams.

McDonnell's performance in the 1000-meter run was probably one of the highlights of the afternoon. With a time of 2:49.76, McDonnell's performance was not only good for an unchallenged first place finish, but it also improved on her previous best time by five seconds. It also gives her the fourth fastest time in Yale history for the event. Freshman Emma Lower also performed well, coming in second place with a time of 3:00.83 on her collegiate track debut.

Senior Emily Barnes also had a phenomenal race in the 3000-meter run. She easily won the race, coming in at 10:02.51, which was 24 seconds faster than the closest competitor. More astoundingly, she improved on her previous personal best by a full 28 seconds. 

Yale also swept the one-mile run, taking first through fifth place. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Katherine Raphael, who ran a new personal best of 4:56.08. Senior Grace Brittan came in right behind Raphael, making her debut in this event with an impressive time of 4:57.95. Elizabeth McDonald, Melissa Fairchild and Julia Borowski completed the rest of the sweep. Sophomore Claire Ewing-Nelson also ran this event, coming in ninth place out of 23 runners.

After making it through the preliminary round in the 60-meter hurdles, senior Mackenzie Mathews came in second overall, posting a time of 9.02s.  Thorpe also made it to the finals, coming in sixth place overall with a time of 9.73s. Soto-Medrano ran a time of 10.16 in the prelims.
Yale put together a stellar 4x400-meter relay team that ran a time of 3:54.79, placing second out of 12 total teams. In the 4x800-meter relay, Yale took first place with a time of 9:18.10.
On the field, junior Lillian Foote got a personal best in the high jump, posting a mark of 1.60m (5-03). Foote and senior Megan Toon tied for third place in the event.

The Bulldogs also had an impressive showing in the weight throw event. Junior Kate Simon finished in third place with a new personal best of 15.06m (49-05). In her first collegiate meet, freshman Evelyn Roberts threw for a distance of 11.38m (37-04), coming in a respectable tenth place out of 18 throwers.

In the pole vault, senior Renee Vogel came in third place out of a field of 11 athletes. She cleared a height of 3.30m (10-10).

Junior Rachel Wofford competed in both the triple and long jumps. In the long jump, Wofford's jump of 4.96m (16-03.25) earned her fifth place out of a pool of 14 athletes. Wofford leaped 10.01m (32-10.25) in the triple jump, good for a seventh place finish out of 13 jumpers.


Recap by Ariel Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity